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. beck

    this should never have happened. those were innocent animals, hepless to what was done to them. i dont know how those people can live with themselves. but then again, they probeably dont even remember what they did that night. idiots. selfish idiots.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. palintwit

    I didn't realize there were teabaggers in Switzerland.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Are you serious?!

      Wow, that is quite possibly the largest cognitive disconnect I have ever seen. While I admit its my sterotype, I picture people at raves in their 20s or early 30s who are carefree (and probably free-loaders) while a typical tea party member is older (wiser) and doesn't actively use drugs and certainly has a better grasp of cause and effect with respect to their own actions.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Respect

    Probably the same ravers who blame corporations for anything wrong on the Planet, will seemingly take no blame in this.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      Ravers? Really? Since when did ravers become a protest group? You're just looking for a boogeyman where none exists. Stick to the political stories if you want to troll.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. get real

    The people who run the park park are to blame for having such lax security. Did they expect party goers to be perfect little angels?

    May 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bellatrix

      No, YOU get real.
      The people who run the park didn't drop the drugs in the water.
      They are not responsible for the callous acts of others.
      Whoever dropped the drugs into the dolphin pool is responsible.
      Do you know what self-responsibility is?

      Didn't think so.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      "Bellatrix," with your logic I could abandon a toddler in the middle of the woods and then claim that the bear that eats him is responsible for his death, not me. Sounds a little bit imbecilic when you think about it, doesn't it?

      May 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • graced

      Bellatrix, if you don't think that the people that run that place, where those dolphins *have* to live, are responsible for their well-being and safety, then God help any dog, cat, mouse, bunny, or – heaven forbid – child you're ever put in charge of..

      May 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |

    Absolutely awesome

    May 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. hoosierdaddy

    What an unbelievable group of idiots you are, trying to make such a sick prank into a joke. It's bad enough the dolphins are in captivity and made to perform for jerks like you. Even worse that they're poisoned and you find humor in that too. Really sick.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Campbell

      The animals is places like this are used for more than entertainment. We study them and do research that results in a better life for them and us. The entertainment value is that we learning about their intelligence by teaching them and that is then used to attract people who buy tickets and sponsorships and the likes that support the research. It's just like a military air show. It's how you instill a sense of support for your cause. It's sad that these animals were put at risk and ultimately destroyed because of it. No doubt. But these centers rescue sick animals and research health issues and try to improve life.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sm

    who knew dolphins liked to join raves. Let this be a lesson to other dolphins.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SWEET

    Switzerland: Where even the dolphins party hard xD

    May 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MashaSobaka

    Why would they allow a rave at a park with MARINE MAMMALS? These animals are INCREDIBLY sensitive to noise pollution. Their whole lives revolve around sound. This was pathetically irresponsible from the very beginning.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • APersona

      I was just thinking the same thing!! Poor creatures.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      what idiots!!! how cruel!!! this is why I say I like my animals better than people

      May 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • BK

      Considering dolphins communicate and get around using echolocation, the animals would have been half-blind and completely unable to communicate with one another during the rave. That must have been terrifying.

      May 7, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Burbank

    I hope the rave producers get sued for the value of those poor fish as well as a hefty fine, they were the ones ultimately responsible for what their patrons did. I'm sure these dolphins are extremely expensive, especially if they were trained for tricks. If there were no rave event these fish would still be alive.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • liu

      THese dolphins are clearly mammals.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Um...Dolphins are not Fish, they're mammals like human beings. As for the article, if there is anyone to blame it is the owner's of the park, the ravers are being punished in other ways, mainly severe damage to their brain receptors.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Malibu

      Fish? Aren't you aware that dolphins are mammals, not fish? Or did you not graduate from high school? Oh wait, you live in Burbank.....

      May 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thunder

      They are MAMMALS not FISH........MAMMALS

      May 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Are you serious?!

      " hope the rave producers get sued for the value of those poor fish as well as a hefty fine"

      Just so we are clear – Dolphins aren't fish – they breathe air from the atmosphere not by extracting oxygen fromt he water. While the rest of the arguement is sound its hard to make a intelligent argument with such a large err in understanding of biology.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. convoluted

    what an unbelievable waste of a beautiful animal to suffer at the hands of some CARELESS intentional looser...if there is a GOD I do hope that Almighty will take there lives as carelessly as they took these creatures

    May 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Susan

    Ravers? Really? WHY were they allowed to 'rent' the park anyway? And why where they allowed anywhere near the dolphins? Are the Swiss really that trusting? They'll hid and protect money but let a bunch of drug addicts party near and have access to two helpless animals.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • graced

      @Susan – I know, right???

      May 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • secret 1

      To all of you that realy want to know the truth. There was no rave party near the dolphins, there was a party in a soundproof theater. None of theese people could have accessed the dolphins winterpool.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • secret 1

      You all should know the truth, the real truth.
      This party was about 250 m away in a soundproof building. Nobody of theese partypeople had access to the dolphins.
      The media, vets , trainers and activists where present at the time, to check the soundlevel, which prooved that there was no noise at the dolphins habitat.
      But because the activists made so much noise, someone , who must know the premesis very well, tryed to make a statement, by poisening first one, and 5 days later the other dolphin. The person knew what he was doing, as they poisend the only 2 males, that where not related to the female. All of Connyland is very sad about their loss, as this was
      meditated murder. Also the dolphins died about 2 weeks after this party, and this poison has been given a short time before they passed. It is very sad, how far people will go, to make a statement!!!! Everyone knows, you cant set Dolphins free, if they are born in human care. You just all think back at Keiko (Free Willy). Activists wanted him free, and he died a painful death insted.Connyland is the biggest facility in Europe, and they get the best care anyone could wish for. i hope you will now all see the truth.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jacksaw123

    @ ready – Really? You have missed the point, evidently. And, learn your grammar before you make such an ass out of yourself.

    @PEDO BEAR – not even funny.

    @Beam – How would you, or a family member like to die of the same uninvited drug overdose?

    @Sophie – same response as above.

    @NEW WORLD TRADE CENTER – is that really the only comment that you can muster? Sad.

    This was an absolutely horrible thing that happened. And to all of those "people" that I mentioned – you should be ashamed of yourselves. When you grow up, you will feel the guilt....for a LONG time.

    May 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • the pills

      Do you feel better now? Aren't you just Mr. Holy. Your sanctimonious garbage is weak.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. graced

    Stupid fu.ck3rs. Who does that? What kind of zoo is running an operation whereby ldiot druggies can bring their drugs into an area where helpless animals can be exposed to them?

    May 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    I call bull. The amount of Heroin that would have to be thrown in a hundreds of thousands of gallons tank to have enough of an effect on the dolphins to kill them would be at least a couple hundred pounds. That's already unlikely enough considering the millions of dollars of H that would be. And secondly who does heroin at a rave?

    May 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • BBK


      May 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT Hawaii

      I know right? The dolphins probably snuck out, got hooked on drugs, and shot up one too many times by themselves...idi0t...

      May 7, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ebuzz

      first of all it wasn't heroin – it was Suboxone (buprenorphine) which is in either pill or a slow dissolving strip form – that could EASILY be swallowed by a dolphin.


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