Report: Dolphins died of drug overdose after rave
Dolphins perform at the Connyland marine park in Switzerland.
May 7th, 2012
01:43 PM ET

Report: Dolphins died of drug overdose after rave

Two dolphins at a Swiss theme park died after ingesting a heroin substitute around the same time as a weekend rave at the park last November, according to reports from Switzerland.

A toxicology report from a forensics institute in St. Gallen, Switzerland, showed tests found traces of the heroin substitute buprenorphine in the dolphins' urine, according to a report in London's Daily Mail online, citing Swiss media reports.

The dolphins died within five days of each other in November, after the area near their pool in the Connyland marine park had been rented out for a weekend rave, according to the reports.

Cornelis van Elk, a Dutch marine biologist, said the drugs turn off a part of the dolphins' brains which tells them when to surface for air.

Connyland keeper Nadja Gasser told local media how one of the dolphins, named Chelmers, died, according to the Daily Mail.

"He was drifting under the water and was clearly in trouble and so we jumped into the water.

"We tried to hold him. He was shaking all over and was foaming at the mouth.

"Eventually we got him out of the water. His tongue was hanging out. He could hardly breathe.

"He was given adrenalin, but it didn't help.

"After an hour the dolphin died."

In a report in the Daily Mail shortly after the rave, wildlife experts said noise from the event could have stressed the animals' immune systems and led to the death of the first dolphin, Shadow.

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Filed under: Animals • Dolphins • Switzerland
soundoff (478 Responses)
  1. howitzer

    Agreed. Dolphins are hyper sensitive to noise. When we think they are smiling they are actually grimacing in pain. The people who managed this park are truly idiots. The truth is that no dolphins (or whales) should be held in captivity. They are very intelligent and fun loving. Maybe more so than humans. Dolphins will protect and save people in open water. Never heard a story about a dolphin doing harm. They should all be free and let to live their lives as we all expect to live ours.

    May 8, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. JoeNamath

    The dolphins took the heroin so they could deal with all the idiot ravers close by.

    May 8, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cece

    My brother went to a school that allowed dolphins. He told me the dolphins were always skipping class, talking about getting high, or getting high. So this doesn't surprise me.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Leigh2

    Such a very sad story. Dolphins are such loveable and intelligent creatures. If any species have souls apparent, it's dolphins. I've had several opportunities to interact with dolphins over the years and I just love them dearly. Sounds like someone wanted to deliberately harm them, but not really gleaning too much information from the article on this one about why they were poisoned with the drug.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. AsianMan

    When will Dolphins Learn, Just cause all the other Sea animals are doing it. First a Walrus offers ya marijuana, next thing ya know it's an all night drug induced ravefest! at marineland! Let this be a lesson to marine life everywhere....Just cause the Penguins are doing it, doesn't make it "Cool"

    May 8, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bubba

    This is probably the work of one dummy who threw something in the pool thinking he was giving the dolphins a buzz. Junkies aren't the smartest people ever, by definition.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. qqqqqjim

    A word to the wise: if heroin can do this to a 450 lb. dolphin, think what it can do to a human!

    May 8, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron Chaney

      Romney vs. Frankenstein

      Put simply, better the devil you don't know. Vote Romney.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • George

      Can you tell us the exact dosage that the dolphins received?

      May 8, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    There is nothing funny about this, Dolphins are loving and enjoy entertaining us especially our children. Something like this can be very tramatizing to our children.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. dee

    this is why they should be in their natural habitat. not a zoo or theme park. derp

    May 8, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. jkINC

    Why is it a turn on for so many of our youth to vandalize and destroy? Where did this come from?

    May 8, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Bee

      You might want to look at the popular culture (TV, movies) for the sources of degraded values and morals.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Don't worry. Humanity's number will be coming up soon. And will we have no one to blame but ourselves.

      May 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      No God, No Morals, no conscience!!!

      Thats the Youth of today

      May 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • jesse

      it's fun to break stuff! Especially on Halloween. Best times of my life but I would never hurt an animal, just property.

      May 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • isolate


      May 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • TwM

      Came from the liberalization of our soceity, can not discipline a child nowadays without reprecussions.

      May 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Reflecting Pool

    The Connyland Marine Park should be shut-down IMMEDIATELY and permanently. They hosted a "Rave Party" on the premises??? You've got to be joking. Anyone who is that fricking stupid and morally depraved – ALL at the same time – should be unemployed.

    May 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Not only that, but they allowed a Rave Party, without any appropriate support (protection) for the dolphins being right there.

      May 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • anchorite

      Almost every single venue, from museums to water parks to zoos to movie theaters to hotels with convention centers hosts weddings, Christmas parties, bar mitzvahs, etc. during their closed hours for extra income. Educate yourself. The GUESTS did it, guests that could have been from any one of those events.

      May 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Guest

    It's a pity that the comments aren't about the article but from the usual clowns who want to hear themselves talk about their political conspiracies. Sad

    May 8, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tamars

    why in hte hell would a park with responsibility for the lives of animals rent out any portion near the poor creatures dependent o their protection? stupid, stupid management decision.

    May 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. gtray

    why does everything have to become political? Seems to me a few kids thought it would be funny and didn't realize how dangerous the drug would be for the dolphins. This is after a rave? Hope the truth comes out.

    May 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Josh

    Wow, not even dolphins are immune to the draw to the usage of illegal drugs, brought upon with fame and fortune of show-biz.

    May 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
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