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. jd

    the park definitely needs to invest in some drug absue eduction for these coked-out dolphins. teach them to just say no and walk, er, swim away.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. karenjl

    How utterly sad and digusting. I hope this place NEVER rents out again for a rave. If the noise didn't kill them, the drugs did. May God Bless those dolphins.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tori

    This park should never be allowed to own any live being ever again. What loser allowed those ravers to ever walk into this "park".
    A better name for the place would be Death Camp.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. EarlGrayHot

    Yeah. Never let these creeps rent the place again. This is shameful. And please sue the people who mrented the place to begin with. Someone should pay for this. Poor dolphins.

    May 23, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • terre08

      Why having dolphins in a theme park at all? Stop going to these kind of "entertainment parks" until they release the dolphins.

      May 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • cj

      Those dolphins are totally out of control. They should be no where
      near water when taking party drugs!

      May 27, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. ImpishLisa

    Shame on those cruel ravers. Do what you will with your own body, but don't you DARE force this crap onto a non consenting and life.

    May 23, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. mlmini

    You would think these people, who are supposed to be intelligent in the field of marine life, would have been smart enough to know there would be drugs and other items at a rave, why on earth would the hold a rave at a theme park? Just stupid

    May 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Zman

    Now we have to worry about dolphins bringing drugs into the USA. Dam those drug dealing dolphins!

    On a serious note. I wish that would happen to people when they did these drugs instead of the poor dolphins!

    May 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Zman.. it does happen to the people that do that.. it's called an overdose. It just doesn't happen to all of the ones that do, or we wouldn't have the problem we have.

      May 24, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. ron

    lmany things wrong with this article. first of all they say the pic was taken in switzerland,,, there are palm trees in the picture and last i checked there are no palm trees in switzerland lol!

    secondly, dolphins do not go to raves, they may be social animals and even smart but they dont listen to techno music and attend raves while on drugs.. sheesh!

    May 24, 2012 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. rtbrno65

    Wait, it says this dolphin died five days after the rave. That means the dolphin consumed the drugs long after the event was over, so how do they know the rave was even responsible? Instead of looking at the rave they need to see what was going on around that tank two or three hours before the dolphin died.

    May 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Heroicslug

    Well they shouldn't have gone clubbing.

    Unfortunate, but not altogether unexpected.

    I didn't know dolphins even did drugs. Or danced...

    May 25, 2012 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. dee

    There are palm trees in all parts of Europe

    May 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bdub

    Those dolphins are such lightweights

    May 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bayousara

    Dolphins belong in the OCEAN! They are not endangered so there is no reason to force them into fake pools and perform for humans. If people would not go to these events, maybe parks would stop raising dolphins.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. thecentrist11

    What's sad to me is that I see more sympathy for these 2 dolphins in these comments than I do in the comments section for the massacre in Syria.

    May 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Loic please

    Yep. Drugs don't hurt anyone. They should totally be legalized.


    Organizers of the rave should be charged if they cannot ensure their patrons are not capable of reasonable behavior.

    May 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
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