Canada

The last Edmonton dolphin, Howard, dies

Howard, the last of the performing dolphins from the West Edmonton Mall, has died in Florida.

Howard, the last of the performing dolphins from the West Edmonton Mall, has died, about a year after moving to an aquatic park in the Florida Keys.

He was 26 – middle-aged, for a bottlenose dolphin – and the cause of death isn't yet known.

In the wild, dolphins can live past 40, though their lives are often shorter in captivity, and Howard was in poor health before he left Edmonton last spring.

Howard was caught with three other dolphins off the coast of Florida 20 years ago and they were brought to the West Edmonton Mall to perform.

The other three dolphins died in Edmonton in 2000, 2001 and 2003.

Beverley Osborne, curator at the Theater of the Sea, which had become Howard's new home, said he had adjusted well to the move back to Florida.

She said Howard had made "two very good friends" among other dolphins at the park, where they perform for and swim with tourists.

She said staff at the park are upset about his death, and an autopsy will be performed to determine how he died.

The Edmonton dolphin show was popular, but it was criticized by animal rights activists. A sea lion show is now put on at the mall twice each day.

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