Before buying that special dolphin in your life an Orbital CD this holiday season, note this: some animal rights activists say loud boom-boom music can stress out dolphins so much that they will drop dead. At a Swiss amusement park, for example, two dolphins recently died after a techno party took place just yards away from their dolphinarium.
Animal rights groups, including Oceancare and Swiss Protection for Animals, are furious with the management at Connyland, the Swiss amusement park, for allowing its dolphins to be exposed to 16 hours of drum-machine music. According to The Local, an eight-year-old dolphin died just 20 days after the party. Then a 30-year-old dolphin died. Both creatures had been big James Taylor fans.
Whether the techno is truly to blame for the deaths is under some dispute. According to Connyland's notably noisy website, "Some say that dolphins in captivity are deeply disturbed by the noise and light, which surrounds them. This is not true." So there's your expert opinion. Meanwhile, The Local reports, Oceancare and Swiss Protection for Animals say dolphins die at Connyland all the time—at least seven in the past three years. (World Radio Switzerland says eight have died.) Did techno kill all of those other dolphins? Probably not. Too much "Fire and Rain" could have killed them.
One vet suggests that the younger dolphin died of poisoning. Maybe some ecstasy fell into the water, or some glow-stick goo. Whatever happened, eight dead Flippers suggests that Connyland should get out of the dolphin business.