The average life span of a Pacific white-sided dolphin is anywhere between 36 and 40 years. But Dart, the male Pacific white-sided dolphin, was only 12 years old when he passed away this weekend at the SeaWorld San Antonio park, The Dodo reports.
SeaWorld announced the male dolphin’s death on Saturday, adding that “the exact cause of death has not yet been determined”. Apparently, he had been under constant veterinary attention for the past month for health-related issues.
In their official announcement, SeaWorld described Dart:
“Like many dolphins, Dart was high-energy, extremely playful, enjoyed participating in shows and interacting with his trainers.”
At the moment, it is still unclear what the cause of his death was. However, according to The Dodo, dolphins are often more susceptible to infections as they come into contact with people. When The Dodo recently spoke to PETA marine mammal veterinarian, Dr. Heather Rally, she told them:
“They’re also being exposed to a much larger amount of bacteria [than wild dolphins are] because they’re being exposed to people who haven’t washed their hands.”