Captive Wild Animals · Dolphins

Zeus and Delpha’s odyssey

Yet another tragic senseless death in the captive marine mammals industry in Russia. A young female bottle-nose dolphin Delpha just died in Anapa Dolphinarium in the Big Utrish after being seized from previous abusive owners.

Before being brought to the Anapa Dolphinarium, dolphins Delfa and Zeus were kept in squalid conditions in an abandoned cattle farm in the village of Veselovka, Temryuk District. The animals were kept in a silo filled with dirty water. Upon their arrival, the mammals were in critical conditions. Both were undernourished and showed the beginning of paralysis caused by hypothermia.

Photo of one of the dolphins, still to be rescued.

About a year and a half ago, the dolphins were caught in the Black Sea and brought to the infamous dolphinarium in Izmailovo near Moscow. The animals did not have the time to complete a full course of training and, labelled “Untrainable”, were sold to a company called “Pavlovskaya Sloboda” in the Krasnodar region for 1 million rubles (about 14000 USD). The new owners placed the wild-caught, unhabituated dolphins in a silo at a cattle farm and left them rot in filth and cold without as much as enough food.

Another photo in the silo by

The dolphins were rescued and taken to the Anapa Dolphinarium, but for Delpha it was too late. On December 21st, Delfa sank to the bottom of her tank and showed no signs of life. To no avail, the trainers performed CPR – she was gone. Her body has been taken to Krasnodar for examination.

One of the last photos of Delpha, by passion_and_compassion on Instagram

passion_and_compassion, a user on Instagram, was apparently one of Delpha and Zeus’ rescuers. This is what she writes: “Today Delfa passed away… We did everything we could to save her, but it was to late…Delfa and Zeus were kept in the former silo in the middle of nowhere by the owner Mikhail Krokhin before we rescued them. He is responsible for their pain and her death. Only 2 years ago she was swimming in the Black Sea with her baby and family… Forgive us baby. We will never forget you. R.I.P. Delfa

According to the current Russian legislation, leaving an animal without food is not a criminal offence. Big Hearts Foundation has been lobbying effective animal welfare legislation at the State Duma for years now.

Please support our work and spread the word. Demand creates supply: do not go or take your children to dolphinariums, aquariums that have any cetacean, petting zoos or circuses that exhibit animals.

Only by doing this we will be able to stop this conveyer of death.

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