Dolphins Living in Despair in the Desert


The Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat was featured on our 10 Worst Tanks list for its exploitation of dolphins. This facility, located in the Mirage Hotel of Las Vegas, “celebrated” the arrival of a new calf last year. However, dolphins being kept in the middle of the sweltering desert is nothing to celebrate. We must encourage the Mirage to stop using dolphins as props for entertainment!

The Dolphin Habitat is entirely unsuitable for dolphins and bears no resemblance to their natural habitat in the wild. The dolphins are kept in cramped, barren tanks that are located in the desert.   The absence of sufficient shade structures leaves the dolphins exposed to harsh sunlight which can lead to serious sun damage. The lack of adequate shade is a blatant violation of the Animal Welfare Act. 

This facility has a notoriously high mortality rate for dolphins, with thirteen tragic deaths over the facility’s 26-year history. Several dolphins have suffered from a persistent skin disease, and others have been observed displaying behaviors that indicate chronic and severe stress, including gnawing on metal gates as well as laying stationary for extended periods of time.

A dolphin performs tricks at The Mirage Hotel. Image credit Dan4th Nicholas, CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Mirage’s youngest calf was born in August 2019 and will spend her entire life within the suffocating confines of shallow tanks if the company has its way. She will be forced to perform mundane tricks for groups of school children who are being misled by the company, which in reality, offers no education or conservational value. Instead, the narrative of domination is front and center to normalize this cruel use and abuse of cetaceans.

What you can do

Please contact The Mirage Hotel of Las Vegas and ask that it shut down its dolphin tanks for good.

1. Call the “Experiences” line and ask the representative to leave a comment regarding the dolphin habitat, or call after hours and leave a message at (702) 791 -7416.

Politely ask that the dolphin tanks be permanently closed and that the dolphin habitat support emerging sanctuary options for cetaceans.

2. Send our letter to Nik Rytterstrom, President & COO of The Mirage, by filling out the form on the right hand side of this page.

Featured image: a dolphin performs at The Mirage Hotel. Image credit Allie_Caulfield, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 valued supporters and a 30-year history of protecting animals, people and the environment through education, campaigns and hands on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi. Our main headquarters are established in San Rafael, California. Click to see author's profile.

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