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This petition was started in response to an article I recently became aware of regarding the exhibit “Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat” located at the Mirage hotel and owned by MGM Grand International.

Born Free USA , WSPA and Dolphin Project  have condemned this place for its claims of being a research and educational facility, while in reality it is motivated by profits. They have nicknamed it the “Dolphin Death Pool” and below you will find some information pertaining to this name.

1. We seek to get shade for the dolphins from the over 100+°F immediately.

2. We want APHIS to test the salinity and water quality and do a well-check on the dolphins in this pool.

3.  We ask  the Clark County School Board to stop sending students immediately to the Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage.

4. We want the Mirage to phase out dolphin shows at this hotel and to move the dolphins to a dolphin rehabilitation center.

5. We will boycott all MGM Resort properties until the Secret Garden closes the dolphin death pool.

Check out the latest video and the conditions of the dolphins:

Here is a list of the dolphins that have died there since its opening in 1990:

* Rascal – age 4 – Death unknown
* Pablo – age 10 – Died from rare fungus in its lungs
* Darla – age 18 – Died from chronic pancreatitis
* Squirt – age 15 – Died from respiratory ailment
* Picabo – age 18 – Died suddenly from internal tear in its stomach
* Bugsy – age 3 – Died from pulmonary abscess
* No name – Stillborn
* No name – 2 week old calf – died from pulmonary edema
* Sigma – age 32 – Died from heart failure
* Banjo – age 32 – Died from heart failure
* Merlin – age 40 (estimate) – died from pneumonia
* Sage – age 11 – death unknown
* St. Pepper – age 2 – lung infection

The attraction states that they take excellent care of their dolphins, however it seems to us that the mortality rate of these animals is very high. We believe that these bottlenose dolphins are subject to extreme temperature changes, from extreme cold (snow flurries) to extreme arid, dry conditions and pollution from a nearby highway. The pool is located in the heart of Las Vegas and specifically next to a busy highway. If you lived next to constant gas fumes from thousands of automobiles, you’d develop respiratory problems too!

This petition proposes its readers to urge the Mirage to prepare a plan to provide shade and/or relocate the dolphins to a facility that mimics the dolphins natural environment. These creatures belong in the ocean, not in middle of the desert. If they are truly a research and educational facility they would not need to be located in the Las Vegas strip.

We understand that dolphins who are born in captivity will not be able to be released in the ocean. However, we believe that the era of marine mammal captivity for human entertainment is over. We are no longer amused with dolphins performing unnatural behaviors.

The Mirage Hotel should start phasing out their wild dolphin habitat and replace it with this:

For the Dolphins, For the Whales, For the World!

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Thank you all for your support!


Please note that you may edit the letter below!


Letter to
Director of Dolphin Habitat Dave Blasko
Chief Operations Officer Corey Ian Sanders
Director of Dolphin Habitat/Mirage Dave Blasko
and 6 others
Nevada Governor
Chief Financial Officer Daniel D'Arrigo
MGM Resorts Public Affairs Yvette Monet
APHIS United States Dept. of Agriculture/APHIS/AC
APHIS West region United States Dept. of Agriculture/AC
Chairman of the Board, Pres., CEO Mr. James Murren
I am writing in reference to the Dolphin Habitat in the Mirage at MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas.

It has come to our attention that 3 of the dolphins at the Mirage have contracted “Pox Virus”, a highly contagious skin disease. All of your dolphins are still being forced to act and perform under these conditions and interact with guests in your “Trainer for a Day”. This disease is caused by the stressful conditions in which the dolphins are kept in.

The dolphins in the Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat venue are not protected from the elements ie. snow flurries, dropping temperatures or from rising hot and arid temperatures. Dolphins breathe air like we do. Even if the water is heated or cooled, the dolphins are still subject to the same respiratory problems, illnesses and organ disease as we are! Being held captive in a concrete pool that is devoid of any other marine life is beyond comprehension.

As required by APHIS/USDA and the Animal Welfare Act on page 123 states:
Natural or artificial shelter which is appropriate for the species concerned, when the local climatic conditions are taken into consideration, shall be provided for all marine mammals kept outdoors to afford them protection from the weather or from direct sunlight.

We do not see any shelter being provided for the dolphin’s not even minimal shade as required by United States Dept. of Agriculture. Please remember that you are governed by federal laws.

These poor animals are in the middle of the desert, not even close to their natural environment, the ocean. This place is open to attract tourists and make money. If a dolphin dies, you just replace it with another one. We ask that you stop this cycle! Stop breeding in captivity.

"Dolphin shows are as educational about dolphins as Mickey Mouse is about real mice." ~Ric O'Barry, Dolphin Project.

The Mirage used to house their tigers in the lobby of the hotel, but removed them from view due to much criticism from guests and visitors. Dolphins belong in the ocean, not in captivity, and much less in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip! Keeping these dolphins in a highly chlorinated/salt pool is also very bad for their health; your corporation cannot duplicate the ocean.

This exhibit has been the death sentence for many wild and captive-born dolphins. It is known as “The Death Pool in the Secret Garden” 14 bottlenose dolphins have died since your grand opening in 1990. Are these numbers accepted as standard operating expenses? At the expense of the lives of the dolphins? One death is much too many.

Please, no more dolphins in Las Vegas!

Respectfully submitted.

Barbara Napoles started this petition with a single signature, and now has 87,076 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.