Free our last 6 dolphins in Belgium.

dolfijnen in gevangenis

Another baby dolphin dies at the Boudewijn Seapark (Bruges–Belgium)


Roxanne’s child has lived less than a week

« Tragic news for the Boudewijn Seapark in Bruges : Origi, the baby dolphin born last week, is dead.
The young female died in her pool on Thursday night (on the 3rd of July 2014). Her mother, Roxanne, 29, has tried to push her child to the surface to save her, but in vain. The guards were there because Origi was monitored 24 hours a day ».

« But it all happened too quickly », said the chief trainer, Sander Van der Heul, to VTM television. «Dolphins are born without immunity. That allows the bacteria they ingest to be fatal. An autopsy has to be carried on to determine the cause of the death.
Origi was born on the 23rd of June and was given the name of the Red Devil who has scored against Russia

The slaughter of innocent beings goes on. Since 2011, Roxanne has lost 4 children : first her twins, then the little Bruce the following year (BS-TT-B1201), and now Origi/Alcatraz. The arguments of the Boudewijn Seapark remain the same, with the same words, the same muddy explanations, the same unbelievable statistics. For the press they can release the same communiqué, they just need to change the names.


Here is what the worst dolphinarium in Europe wrote about the death of the previous newborn in September 2012 : « The dolphin Roxanne gave birth to a male dolphin named Bruce at the Boudewijn Seapark, on the 3rd of September. The newborn was healthy and breastfeeding well. Despite the care provided by the staff of the park, the baby dolphin died suddenly on the friday afternoon. « The staff noticed on that afternoon that he suddenly stopped swimming », says the press release. « Roxanne, his mother, immediately tried to bring her son to the surface to let it breathe. Trainers and the veterinarian also tried to save the newborn, but it was too late. The first three weeks are crucial in the development of young dolphins because their immune system is still very low. Half of them do not reach the end of their first year. An autopsy has to be carried on to determine the precise cause of the death. »

And, of course, the results of these autopsies are never mentioned…


Bruce and Roxanne

Origi, just like Bruce before her, and just like the twins, would have been killed by bacteria.
It could seem normal, couldn’t it, considering their immune system was not yet developed. Bacteria? So does it mean that the water in the pools of Bruges is not filtered? Did the baby not receive those massive doses of antibiotics ? Or at the contrary did he already have too much of them in its blood ?

With all the « best care » they receive and with the highly sanitized environment in which they are forced to live, the babies that were born captive shouldn’t know the usual high mortality that they know in the wild. However, the proportion of deaths is higher in Bruges! It has to be said : the mortality rate is lower in other dolphinaria. In Harderwijk, most of the newborns do survive. But the conditions in Bruges are particularly outrageous and inadequate for breeding. No baby has survived since the birth of Ocean in 2003.

And nothing is said about the suffering of Roxanne. Even though the death of a child is, for a mother dolphin, just as painful as for a human mother.

For dolphin mothers, losing a child is a tragedy. Some of them carry the corpse of their newborn for weeks, until the body decomposes. But the family supports those young mothers and, eventually, life goes on.


Dolphin mothers in the wild mourn their child sometimes during several weeks…

In a pool, where the arrival of a child is like a ray of sunshine in a world of darkness and trouble, the pain is even more intense. It goes with a feeling of despair, which sometimes leads to acts of infanticide during the following births. It happened to Mavis, at the West Edmonton Mall, who drowned her child, and also probably to Iris, in Duisburg, with her last baby. Freya, the orca in Antibes, had to receive massive doses of antidepressants to bear the loss of her numerous children.


The Boudewijn Seapark must IMMEDIATELY renounce to any future attempt of breeding in a pool. At this rate, Roxanne is going to die, and we can already imagine she received antidepressants.
Further than that, the Boudewijn Seapark must be NOW put under investigation and its managers must be prosecuted for bad treatments towards dolphins!

Let’s remember them all :

Gorky (M) : born on the 14th of August 1993, transferred to the Zoomarine (Portugal) on the 16th of January 2001. He died in 2003.
Simo (M) : born on the 8th of July 1995. He died by accident during a fight between adults at the age of 2,5 months.
Luna (F) : born on the 3rd of December, deported also to the Zoomarine (Portugal) on the 16th of January 2001. Then to Zoomarine Italy in 2005. Then back to Pourugal in 2008. Her brother Marco is still alive in Italy.
Iggy (M) : born and dead in 2002.
Unnamed twins : 5th of August 2011 : « One of the twins that Roxanne was carrying just died. The veterinarians have found out that the heart of one of the fetuses had stopped. The second one is doing well, just like her mother, Roxanne. The Bruges dolphinarium expected this death, knowing that twin pregnancies amongst dolphins are extremely rare and very risky. The amniotic cavity of the young dolphin who died is still intact, so there is no danger of ignition for the mother and the other little dolphin. The dead fetus normally has to come out spontaneously so that the other can grow up properly until birth » Boudewijn Seapark explained.
– 30th of August 2011 : the second twin also dies ! Born before term, he was no longer viable ; The mother is doing well, if you can say that…
– 7th of September 2012 : Bruce dies. Roxanne had given birth to this male dolphin (BS-TT-B1201) on the 3rd of September. The newborn was healthy and breastfeeding well. Despite all the care provided by the staff, he dies suddenly on the Friday afternoon. Except the best « care » would be not to confine dolphins!
Origi, born on the 23rd of June 2014 and dead on the 3rd of July 2014.



Mother mourning her baby in the wild.

Origi has only lived a week. The despair of Roxanne is probably impossible to evaluate, but she will surely receive increased doses of antidepressants. Let’s remember that, in the wild, female dolphins give birth to a child every 2 to 4 years, and well beyond 40.
Let’s remember that in Sarasota, in 2010, Cathy was already a grand-grand-grandmother at the age of 44…



Origi and Roxanne : such a short happiness…


Roxanne’s bio :

Ceta Base :

Text Y.G.
Traduction Christelle Bornauw



Boudewijn Seapark de Bruges : encore un bébé dauphin mort !


L’enfant de Roxanne aura vécu moins d’une semaine


Origi est morte moins d’une semaine après sa naissance

«Nouvelle tragique pour le Boudewijn Sea Bruges: Origi, le bébé dauphin né la semaine dernière, est décédé.
La petite femelle s’est éteinte dans sa piscine mardi soir. Sa mère Roxanne, 29 ans, a essayé de pousser son enfant à la surface pur le sauver, malheureusement en vain.
Les gardiens étaient là car Origi était surveillée 24 heures par jour. « Mais tout cela est arrivé trop vite », a déclaré le dresseur en chef Sander Van der Heul à VTM.  « Les dauphins naissent sans immunité, permettant aux bactéries qu’ils ingèrent d’être mortelle. » Une autopsie doit se prononcer sur la cause du décès. Origi était née le 23 Juin et avait reçu le nom masculin du joueur des Diables Rouges qui avait marqué un but contre la Russie ».

Le massacre des innocents continue. Depuis 2011, Roxanne a perdu 4 enfants : ses jumeaux d’abord, puis le petit Bruce (BS-TT-B1201l) l’année suivante et enfin Origi/Alcatraz aujourd’hui. L’argumentaire du Boudewijn Seapark est toujours le même, avec les mêmes mots, les mêmes explications vaseuses et des statistiques peu crédibles.
Pour la presse, on reprend le même commniqué. Il suffit de changer les noms.


Voici ce qu’écrivait le pire delphinarium d’Europe à propos de la mort du précédent nouveau-né le 7 septembre 2012 :
«La delphine Roxanne avait donné vie à un petit dauphin mâle au Boudewijn Seapark, du nom de Bruce, ce lundi 3 septembre.
Le nouveau-né était en bonne santé et bien allaité. Malgré les soins prodigués par le personnel du parc, le delphineau est subitement décédé vendredi après-midi.
« Le personnel a constaté cet après-midi qu’il avait soudainement arrêté de nager », poursuit le communiqué de presse. »Roxanne, sa mère, a immédiatement essayé de ramener son fils à la surface pour le laisser respirer.  Les formateurs et le vétérinaire ont également essayé de sauver le nouveau-né, mais il était trop tard.  Les trois premières semaines sont cruciales dans le développement des bébés dauphins, car leur système immunitaire est encore très faible.  La moitié des mammifères n’atteint pas la fin de leur première année d’existence. Une autopsie doit être pratiquée pour déterminer les causes précises du décès»

Dont jamais aucun résultat n’est donné, bien sûr !


Bruce et Roxanne

Origi, comme Bruce, comme les jumeaux qui ont précédé, auraient donc été tuées par des bactéries. Rien n’est plus normal, n’est-ce pas, car leur système immunitaire n’était pas encore au point.
Des bactéries ? L’eau du bassin de Bruges n’est-elle donc pas filtrée ? Le bébé n’avait pas encore reçu ses doses massives d’antibiotiques ou au contraire en avait-il déjà trop dans le sang ?

Avec tous les « meilleurs soins » qu’ils reçoivent et le milieu hautement aseptisé dans lequel ils sont contraints de vivre, les bébés dauphins nés captifs devraient être à l’abri de la mortalité importante habituelle en mer. Or, la proportion de décès est supérieure à Bruges ! Notons que ce taux de mortalité est inférieure dans d’autres delphinariums. A Hardewijk, la plupart des nouveaux nés survivent. Mais les conditions de Bruges sont particulièrement scandaleuses et impropres à la reproduction en bassin. Aucun bébé n’a survécu depuis la naissance d’Océan en 2003.

Pas un mot n’est dit de la souffrance de Roxanne. Pourtant, la mort d’un enfant, pour une mère dauphin, est aussi douloureuse que pour une mère humaine.

Pour les mamans dauphins, perdre un enfant est bien entendu un drame. Certaines portent le cadavre de leur nouveau-né durant des semaines, jusqu’à ce que le corps se décompose. Mais la famille soutient la jeune mère et la vie reprend son cours.
En bassin, où l’arrivée d’un enfant est comme un rayon de soleil dans un monde de ténèbres et d’ennui, la douleur est encore plus vive. Elle s’accompagne d’un sentiment de désespoir, qui mène parfois à des actes d’infanticides lors des naissances suivantes. Ce fut le cas de Mavis, au West Edmonton Mall, qui noya son enfant et sans doute d’Iris à Duisburg, avec son tout dernier bébé.
Freya, l’orque d’Antibes, a du recevoir des doses massives d’antidépresseurs pour supporter la perte de ses nombreux enfants.



Les mamans dauphins libres portent le deuil de leur enfant parfois plusieurs semaines.

Le Boudewijn Seapark doit renoncer IMMEDIATEMENT à toute future tentative de reproduction en bassin. Roxanne va en crever à ce rythme et on peut imaginer que déjà, on l’a placée sous antidépresseurs. Mieux encore, le Boudewijn Seapark doit faire l’objet d’une enquête MAINTENANT et ses gestionnaires traduits en justice pour maltraitance à dauphins !


Une aute maman dauphin portant le deuil de son bébé.


Gorky (M) : né le 14 août 1993, transféré au Zoomarine (Portugal) le
16 janvier 2001. Mort en 2003.

Simo (M) : né le 8 juillet 1995. Mort par accident au cours d’une bagarre entre adultes à l’âge de 2,5 mois

Luna (F) : née le 3 décembre 1996, déportée au Zoomarine (Portugal) le 16 janvier 2001 puis au Zomarine Italie (Rome) en 2005 puis retour au Portugal en 2008. Elle a déjà deux enfants, Bio (mort) et Sam, né en juin 2014.

– Son frère Marco est également toujours vivant au Zoomarine en Italie.

Iggy (M) né et mort en 2002

Jumeaux sans nom. 5 août 2011
« L’un des deux jumeaux que Roxane attendait vient de décéder. Les vétérinaires ont constaté que le coeur de l’un des foetus s’était
arrêté. Le second se porte bien, tout comme sa mère, Roxanne. Le delphinarium de Bruges s’attendait à cette mort, sachant que les
grossesses de jumeaux chez les dauphins sont extrêmement rares et très risquées. La cavité amniotique du jeune décédé est encore intacte, de sorte qu’il n’y a aucun risque d’inflammation pour la mère et l’autre petit dauphin. Le foetus mort doit normalement sortir spontanément afin que l’autre puisse grandir sans problème jusqu’à la naissance », a-t-on expliqué du côté du Boudewijn Seapark ».

– 30/8/2011 Le second jumeau de Roxanne vient de mourir à son tour !
Né bien avant terme, il n’était plus viable.
La maman se porte bien, si l’on peut dire.

– 7/9/2012. Mort de Bruce. La delphine Roxanne avait donné vie à un petit dauphin mâle au Boudewijn Seapark, du nom de BS-TT-B1201, ce lundi 3 septembre.
Le nouveau-né, du nom de était en bonne santé et bien allaité. Malgré les soins prodigués par le personnel du parc – les meilleurs soins
seraient de ne pas enfermer les dauphins ! – le delphineau est subitement décédé vendredi après-midi.

– Mort d’Origi le 3 juillet 2014



Origi n’aura vécu qu’une semaine. Le désespoir de Roxanne est sans doute insondable mais ne maquera pas de lui valoir des doses accrues d’antidépresseurs.


Pour rappel, en milieu naturel, les femelles dauphins donnent naissance à un enfant tous les 4 à 7 ans, bien au-delà de l’âge de 40 ans.


Roxanne, delphine pondeuse en batterie

Biographie de Roxanne :

Ceta Base :

Ligue des Familles : un concours pour aller voir les dauphins de Bruges !


La prison aquatique de Bruges. Plus de 20 dauphins sont morts sous ce dôme.

Le Ligueur  lance aujourd’hui un concours qui permettra à des familles de 4 personnes d’aller voir d’autres familles psychiquement détruites au delphinarium de Bruges.

Le Ligueur est le journal de la Ligue des Familles, une honorable organisation belge qui « défend des propositions politiques de soutien à la parentalité, encourage des solidarités collectives entre citoyenparents et permet des échanges d’expériences individuelles de parents ». Nul doute qu’elle ne s’applique à cette mission avec zèle et efficacité.



Roxanne et Bruce, mort au bout de 4 jours

La delphine Roxanne et son bébé seront certainement les vedettes de cette belle visite offerte par  Le Ligueur.
Quel spectacle émouvant ! Quelle tendre maman ! Quel mignon delphineau !

Mais sait-on que Roxanne fut arachée à sa famille dans le Golfe du Mexique en 1988, qu’elle a vu ses frères mourir l’un après l’autre après la capture et que d’innombrables grossesses lui ont été imposées, années après années, car « quand un dauphin naît, cela veut dire que les dauphins sont heureux » mais surtout qu’ils font grimper le chiffre d’affaires.

Heureuse ?
Roxanne a aussi vu mourir Flo, sa fille bien-aimée décédée à 13 ans en 2010. Elle a vu partir à jamais ses enfants Gorki, Luna et Marco, expédiés vers d’autres prisons aquatiques. Elle a perdu Iggy, Simo, puis ses jumeaux en 2011 et enfin Bruce, mort à l’âge de 3 jours en 2012.

Quant au bébé qui vient de naître, s’il survit, il finira à son tour par être expédié à jamais loin de sa mère. Chez les dauphins libres comme chez nous, les contacts familiaux persistent toute la vie et les mères font le deuil de leur enfant mort…

NOTE 3 juin 2014 : le petit dauphin est mort au bout d’une semaine.



Yotta : une fausse couche a failli la tuer. A-t-elle eu d’autres bébés morts depuis, que l’on nous aurait caché ?


Comment la Ligue des Familles peut-elle encourager un tel  spectacle ? Des dauphins blêmes, malades, drogués, souvent inséminés et maintenus toute leur vie sous un dôme dans une piscine chlorée d’où l’on ne voit le soleil qu’à travers des vitres ?

Comment peut-elle encourager une industrie esclavagiste qui désinforme systématiquement les enfants sur la vraie nature des dauphins et leur fait croire qu’ils sont de gentils toutous saluant de la nageoire ?

Une organisation aussi soucieuse de parentalité devrait proposer au contraire les voyages éco-responsables, où des familles humaines pourraient s’émerveiller du bonheur d’autres familles cétacées, nageant libres et joyeuses dans un océan sans limite.

Les opérateurs de whale-watching respectueux, animés par des scientfiques, ne manquent pourtant pas en Europe, tout près de chez nous.  Voilà un beau cadeau de concours que la Ligue aurait pu offrir !



Grands dauphins à Cherbourg. Photo Florent GECC

Les dauphins sont des êtres sensibles et supérieurement intelligents. Ils aiment leurs enfants autant que nous et leurs liens familiaux sont d’une intensité extrême.
Merci à la Ligue de respecter cela à l’avenir !



A Bruges, 4 dauphins sur 4 ont été capturés en mer.

Site du concours :

Dix bonnes raisons de ne pas aller dans un delphinarium :

Les dauphins ne jouentpas au ballon !


Beachie à Bruges, malade des bronches à cause du chlore

Boudewijn Seapark in Bruges : the time of the catches

Puck, Tex & Linda at the Dolfirado

The Boudewijn Seapark opens in Bruges in 1972.
At the time, dolphins are considered like “the” new American attraction that can bring a lot of money quickly. Dolphinaria open all over Europe.

Harderwijk (in The Netherlands) is the first to dig ponds in 1962. While Marineland in Antibes (France) orders its orcas from SeaWorld, while England multiplies small structures filled with young and sick cetaceans and while the Duisburg Zoo starts its sinister massacre. Belgium won’t take much time to follow.

The first dolphinarium was born in 1968 in Mellen in Flanders. Maupertuus Park – that’s his name – brought 5 dolphins back from Florida. Only two of them are still alive when the plane lands, one mother and her child, which will rapidly die too.

On the 17th of December 1969, the Antwerp Zoo opens its new facility, this time for “scientific” purposes. The zoo orders its first victims in Florida. Jerry Mitchell and James Tiebor are its main suppliers for dolphins, dolphins that they capture in the Gulf of Mexico. From the beginning, it’s a massacre. At least 30 dolphins will perish.

orcellesanversBurma Irrawaddy dolphins
at the Antwerp Zoo

 A dolphinarium also opens in the “Plaine de la Sarte”, in Huy, in 1977.
Like Bruges, it is here also a sort of Walloon branch of Harderwijk. Two dolphins of the company are sent to these very small basins (10 meters long and 1,5 meter deep). But commercial success does not come. Harderwijk then takes back Jasperina, the last surviving dolphin, in its facilities in Bruges in 1978. The site is now called “Mont Mosan” and only exhibits sea lions and parrots.


mont-mosan-miss-otarieMont Mosan

 Between 1976 and 1984, dolphins were also exhibited in a 6 degrees water in the Walibi Park in Wavre. They were called Boy, Leo, Missy, Kiki, Niky, Nemo and Girl. Some of them had been captured in Taiwan. They all died miserably.


Then the folly falls down again. The fashion for dolphinaria gradually loses its appeal in the nineties, with the closure of all the English sites and of the dolphinarium of the Antwerp Zoo in 1999, under the pressure of the activists. The dolphinarium of Bruges, however, still holds and is enthusiastically supported by the local politicians. They all mention the “well-being” of its residents, but especially the economic interests of such an attraction in terms of employment.

Managers of this park (under a dome), that is one of the last dolphinaria in Europe that deprives its dolphins from light and fresh air, can therefore regularly tell lies in the columns of our main newspapers, and affirm without a laugh that their dolphins live much longer in captivity and breed pretty well. No one dares to contradict them. So it is time to tell, here, how the Boudewijn Seapark was built, on a mountain of corpses…

deadDead captives


From 1972 to 2009, the Boudewijn Seapark imported wild dolphins from Florida and probably the  Caribbean, through his Dutch counterpart, the Harderwijk Dolphinarium, or through the “Dolfirado” in Stein (Limburg). In only one case, as we will see below, the Boudewijn Seapark received its dolphins directly from its supplier, without them going first through Harderwijk.

In this regard, the dolphinarium of Bruges bears a heavy responsibility.

The dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico have indeed paid very expensive this “Flippermania” outbreak, that all the emerging countries are now discovering, from Asia to Africa.

Between 1960 and 1993, more than 1600 marine mammals have been taken from the U.S. waters for the local and the international market. In the early nineties, a terrible epidemic has decimated the dolphins in the Gulf, and the USA had to prohibit all the commercial catches in 1993. This was also because the catches for the dolphinaria were finishing to deplete the populations…

Since then, Western aquatic circuses are forced to stick to breeding farms. Some dolphinaria succeed (with a relative success). But the births are insufficient and the life of these dolphins is too short to ensure the viability of a genetically healthy population on the long term. This will require new captures one day.

pieter-vetoRoxanne, 3 missed births in 2 years

Unlike Antwerp Zoo, which makes no secret of its archives, Boudewijn Seapark never mentions the period between 1972 and 1988, during which the dolphinarium took part, with his Dutch accomplices, to the depopulation of the Gulf of Mexico.

The park even does everything to erase the past. For example, on the signs mentioning the six captive dolphins at the entrance of the dome, the name of Tex does not even appear. Yotta, Indy and Ocean, 3 only dolphins that were born captive and that are still alive, simply have no father.

Many researches are therefore needed to trace back the path of the cetaceans of Bruges. And this path remains incomplete, fragmentary, sometimes censored. The more we find clues on the true story of the dolphins in Bruges, the more the skein of the incessant transactions between the 6 Dutch dolphinaria and the 4 Belgian dolphinaria, under the leadership of Harderwijk, becomes difficult to unknot. The story of our 3 last dolphins founders in Bruges is very tumultuous, dramatic and confused.



capture-dauphins2Capture with a hoop in the 60’s


The “Marine Mammal Inventory Report”, responsible for recording all the exports from the U.S.A., mentions that 3 big bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) arrived in Bruges in 1974. No other animal is mentioned before that.

This is curious. Because there had to be at least ONE dolphin for the opening of the dolphinarium in 1972! Several dolphins have thus lived at the dolphinarium during these first two years (1972-1974) without anyone remembering them. Their arrival in Belgium is nowhere mentioned, nor their death, in official documents. But there are traces…

Japan dolphin in the Netherlands

Japanese dolphin in the Netherlands (70’s)

In 1972, Dr. W.H. Dudok Van Heel, sent by the company Harderwijk BV, conducted a scientific investigation about the frequent and early deaths amongts the dolphins
that his company imports, stands, keeps or distributes.

The author of this study obviously does not attribute these rapid deaths to the despair linked to containment – the dolphins arrive shortly after their capture, still shocked – but to a too high level of mercury in their blood. Van Heel mentions some of the dolphins present in Belgium.

During the winter of 1970-1971, he says, we helped build the Boudewijn Seapark. « To be able to fill the basins with dolphins “proper to educate the public”, we brought four freshly caught dolphins: Allan, a young adult male; Yogi, a juvenile male in poor health; Kiana, a young adult female; and Sherry, a juvenile female ».
A table is presented, which shows the distribution of this global purchase (22 dolphins) for four dolphinaria (Bruges, Harderwijk, Rotterdam and Zandvoort).

« All these dolphins were captured by Milton Santini in Marco Island, southwest Florida, except four of them, captured by James Tiebor. Animals delivered to Sweden (Kolmarden) were captured by Jerry Mitchell in Key Largo ». Jerry Mitchell was already providing the Antwerp Zoo. He was sentenced later for illegal catches in the Bahamas.



Marco Islands, Florida


The dolphins chosen for shows in Bruges are, however, not those that have just been imported (Allan, Kiana and the others). You have there Milly and Sanny, two adult females perfectly tamed and healthy.
You have George and James, two young males also pre-tamed and whose health is improving. These dolphins belong to the Harderwijk dolphinarium but they travel from one dolphinarium to the other quite frequently. They are often moved at the time. Street aquatic circuses also travel around Europe, but Van Heel opposes them. He’s in favour of a stable habitat.

 “The dolphins in Bruges didn’t cause us any problems”, he continues, “until the conclusion of this investigation in May 1972. From that moment, Georges and James started to lose their vitality. Kiana and Allan, despite of having been prepared in Harderwijk, could not stand the pressure of the training anymore, and we had to reduce it. We had to remove Allan from the shows and send him to rest in Holland. The health problems of the animals and the uncomfortable situation of the dolphinarium in Rotterdam, located in the heart of the city, led us not to renew the contract with this site. Hazel was transferred to Bruges in October 1971. In May 1972, his condition had slightly improved while Doris and Kiana’s health had deteriorated to such an extent that we had to send them again to Harderwijk in order to regain strength. Georges and James were doing well then ».

And it stops there. From Sherry, Yogi, Georges, Hazel or James, we will know nothing more. They probably all perished in Netherlands or Germany, but dolphins were dying so quickly that there was not enough time to record all the deaths…



Harderwijk in the sixties


In January 1974, the MMIR tells us that Bruges receives 3 dolphins from Harderwijk.
Allan and Kiana are leaving Holland to come back to Belgium. Jasperina joins them in 1978, after a really difficult time in Huy.

And time passes. In 1987, 3 dolphins are still held in Bruges: Allan, Kiana and Jasperina.
Jasperina dies rapidly. A study indeed confirms a case of septicemia concerning “a 13 year old female, living in the park since 7 years with 2 companions”. It’s Jasperina, who dies in September 1987, after two days of agony.

Oshin was born in January 1987, from Tex, still in Holland, and from an unknown mother (?). Is Kiana the mother ? The child settles with the couple. But not for long.

On the 11th of May 1988, a terrible fire destroys the wooden facilities of the Bruges dolphinarium. The 3 captive dolphins, 2 adults and a child, perish, suffocated, under the beams of the dolphinarium, in terror and suffering. Death by the fire is, for a dolphin, probably worse than the worst hell, an unimaginable pain. But the show must go on…



Fire at the Dolfirado


The ashes are still smoking when the dome is rebuilt and the basins repopulated.
  The “new” site will be officially inaugurated in 1990.

On the 24th of June 1988, the first group of dolphins arrives from the Dolfirado in Stein (Limburg), a place that has also just been ravaged by the fire. It’s Puck, Tex & Linda.

The presence of Puck is attested in a “holding pen” in 1979 (not specified), with an immediate departure towards the Dolfirodam of Rotterdam on the 26th of July 1979. A highly polluted and lethal place, where the captives are dying very fast.

She was then moved to Dolfirado Stein in 1981. She also resisted this rotten dolphinarium, haunted by insane dolphins, and that also took fire in 1987. Happily, neither Puck nor the other dolphins had to endure this suspicious accident, that was probably set up to try to cover/to hide an announced bankruptcy. They were then in the other aquatic circus of the owner, the Dolfirama of Zandvoort.



Dolfirama of Zandvoort

The Dolfirama opened in Holland in April 1969. At the time, it is considered like the largest dolphinarium in Europe, with its pool of one million liters and its combined spectacles of dolphins and sea lions. The building still exists today, but the shows of dolphins have stopped since 1988. The living conditions were so deplorable that the law has forced the dolphinarium to close.




Zandvoort Dolfirama

Tex was supposedly born in 1974 and his capture took place between 1978 and 1980 in Rockport, Texas.

Linda was born in 1976. She was captured at the same time, on the southeast coast of Texas, thanks to the Permit #299, directly issued to the Dolfirado. Both of them are listed in the directory of the dolphinarium in Stein.

But weirdly, Puck is not mentioned. The MMIR doesn’t indicate any precise origin for her. Nobody knows what she has done between her birth in the wild and her arrival in Rotterdam in July 1979.

Just like the first dolphins of Bruges, Allan, Yogi, Kiana and Sherry, Puck has probably been captured near Grassy Keys by Milton Santini in 1966. The Boudewijn Seapark associates this date to her birth and makes her come from the Caribbean.


Milton Santini and his seapen in the Keyes

Milton Santini
was a mackerel fisherman.
  After shooting down a first dolphin who was rummaging in his nets and after hearing him « cry like a baby » before he died, he catches a second dolphin. This time, he keeps the animal alive. The dolphin is intelligent, we will tame him without any difficulty and M. Santini then launches his business.

He catches a lot of other dolphins, amongst which probably Puck, and teaches them tricks. Tourists enjoy, but also a film director named Ivan Tors, who decides to make a film. The series « Flipper » was born. And the affairs of Mr. Santini start to flourish, until 1993. The company converts into a “research center”, the Dolphin Research Center, well known to tourists who can swim there with captive (but supposed not captured) dolphins.



Santini « rescuing » a Risso dolphin


On the 11th of July 1988, Bruges receives a second group of dolphins, numbered #620, including Kim (Gulfport), Roxanne (Gulfport), Terry (Gulfport) and William (Gulfport). This order is directly addressed by the Boudewijn Seapark to Mr. Moby Solangi, Gulfport.

Kim dies the following year and Ringo disappears at an unknown date. Terry will die devoured by fungi. From this “delivery” #620, Roxanne is the only one who has survived.


Roxanne was taken away very young from her mother. She was only 3 when she was captured, on the 6th of May 1988. Less than two months later, she flies to Belgium and finds herself forever trapped under the dome of the Bruges dolphinarium (in July 1988). The interesting point is that, this time, the place where she was captured is known: Gulfport !



Marine Mammal Productions was located in Gulfport. Its manager, Moby Solangi, has captured over 200 dolphins in the estuary of the Mississippi between 1956 and 1989. These animals have been sold to national and international dolphinaria, but also to the U.S. Navy.


US Navy is allowed to capture for its needs.

Solangi was also putting his catches to rent.
For a certain fee paid each month, the dolphinarium could receive a “package” with several tamed dolphins and sea lions, the services of a veterinarian and of a trainer, and also food for the marine mammals. If an animal was sick or died, Marine Mammal Productions, founded in 1965, pledged to replace it.

Many dolphins were dying due to stress or drowning during their capture. A former employee of Solangi has witnessed the death of 20 dolphins during a single operation. On another occasion, a mother and her child were caught in the nets. The baby sank to the bottom.

An eyewitness said: “Every diver was grabbing a dolphin, but not all of them could keep their vents above the water (…) you could tell by the floats of the nets that were sinking underwater that the dolphins were drowning. We could not help them, we could just watch until they die. It did not take long for dolphins to start drowning, probably because of their extreme efforts to resist and their panic. (…) A dolphin had a rope attached to the caudal (…) we continued to remove the net of the dolphins, and they just slowly sank to the bottom.”



Capture in Florida, for Disney


This witness adds: “The permanent employees of Marine Life who captured this group were called by Moby later. He told them not to discuss the affairs of Marine Life with other employees or anyone outside the company (…) I learned later that there were good reasons for that. Marine Animal had already delivered at least 23 dolphins to the U.S. Navy in 1988. The death of more than 20 other dolphins would have made him exceed his quota of at least 18 units.”

Milton Santini, Jerry Mitchell, James Tiebor, Jay Sweeney and many others used the same methods and killed just as many dolphins. You have to imagine what Roxanne and his companions endured.


Disney dolphin capture


Roxanne probably has seen, right next to her, her little sister sinking, or her little brother. She probably has called her mother with all her strength, like Angel did in Taiji, and she probably heard her family and friends call her by her name, beg their torturers and drown before their eyes.


Angel in Taiji

Once in Bruges, Tex & Linda have had a first baby, born on the 1st of July 1990. Skippy died in September 2000, at the same time than Terry and from the same disease : their skin and their vent were covered by fungi, and they died in an atrocious agony.

Puck also gave birth to Yotta on the 24th of August 1998, and to Indy, on the 13th of July 2003. Both are still alive today, besides here, but Tex, their father, died at age 20 at the Marineland (Antibes) in 2006, victim of a journey too much.

Roxanne is also lucky. In 2014, her son Ocean is still with her, when he should be traveling – in the wild – to form a coalition with other males of his age. However, she lost Flo, her beloved daughter, and she saw disappear forever.

Gorky, Luna, Marco  were sent abroad. Simo, Iggy, her twins in 2011 and her youngest child, dead after only four days, in 2012 are now buried somewhere. In the wild, dolphins never really lose contact. Just like chimpanzees, they form a “fission-fusion” society, in which individuals move away and get closer at will, in the same region.



Luna and Marco were sent to Zoomarine facilities

, finally, the old friend of Puck and Roxanne, has been coldly deported to Italy with her son Mateo, just to make room after living 20 years all together under the dome. Nobody took into account the friendship and the bonds between her and the rest of her artificial pod. She still lives today amongst strangers in an overcrowded aquarium in Genoa. Her son has been sent to Spain as stallion.

The father of ALL these children, Tex, died in 2005 as a breeding loan at Antibes Marineland, where he probably committed suicide.


Linda alone in Genoa


As for Beachie, the story is a little different. Beachie was rescued by SeaWorld Orlando when he stranded in Florida. He was released once and re-stranded, it is how he got his name. He was held at SeaWorld Orlando until being transferred to Harderwijk in 1997, then Bruges in 2009.



Beachie sick in 2013


A « deaf » dolphin rescued by Moby Solangi


Do Puck and Roxanne remember those horrible catches, the screaming and the crying of the mothers deprived of their children ? Do they remember all those companions who died next to them, or those babies, condemned to live a few days only in the chlorinated pool water ?

Yes. They do. A recent study showed that dolphins had a prodigious memory and could recognize the voice of old friends more than 20 years after being separated from them. In the wild, they mourn their deaths.


Why is it important to tell those old stories ? Because they are not old stories !
Massive catches are still held in Japan, in Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, in the Solomon Islands, in Cuba, worldwide. The U.S. are only waiting for a signal to recover their former hunting licenses. Meanwhile, SeaWorld has already sponsored the capture of beluga whales in Russia.

For the dolphins, the pain is still the same, in 1980 or in 2014. Emerging countries are now imposing to captives what we were imposing them in the 70s and 80s. The tragic story of the dolphins in Bruges illuminates the present times.

This will happen tomorrow, and again and again, as long as the dolphinarium in Bruges and its colleagues of the EAZA will continue to claim that their aquatic circuses serve education, research and conservation. As long as they will send that sort of message to countries like Iraq, Pakistan, China, Russia, North Korea, and as long as they will say to them “Look! We make a lot of money! Just do like us!”



Aquatic circuses make money


If there are errors in this text, we thank in advance Bruges dolphinarium to kindly correct them. A little transparency always improves the image of a company. Thanks to Ceta Base for its help. Thanks to Christelle Bornauw for her excellent and courageous translation of this long article.



Puck in Dolfirado : such a long story…


© Boudewijn Seapark

© Boudewijn Seapark


Original article :

Boudewijn Seapark, le temps des captures

Read also :

Ceta-Base Bruges 2014

Process fails dolphins in Bruges

The life of Beachie

Bruges 200-2004

Free Disney dolphins


Boudewijn Seapark was built on dead corpses

References :

Preliminary Report on The Demographic Status of the Bottlenosed Dolphin in the E.E.EC (July 1981)




Boudewijn Seapark : more than 20 dolphins died there

Un bon delphinarium est un delphinarium mort

step-foodPétition contre l’avis du Conseil du Bien-être animal

« Le Conseil du bien-être animal présentera ses nouvelles recommandations pour la détention de dauphins en captivité, ce jeudi 30 janvier à 13 heures. Le conseil a créé un groupe de travail en 2011 constitué de scientifiques, d’organisations de bien-être animal et des représentants de delphinariums afin d’étudier les normes actuelles pour la détention des dauphins. Les recommandations seront exposées jeudi, en présence de madame Maya Detiège (présidente de la commission parlementaire Santé publique), de Dirk Lips (président du Conseil Bien-être animal), de Sander Vandenheul (Zoological Manager du  Boudewijn Seapark) et de Michel Vandenbosch (Président de Gaia). Après la conférence de presse, toutes les parties concernées signeront l’accord ».

brugedemo3Bruges 2004

Ce fut chose faite le lendemain :
« Ces dernières décennies, le bien-être des animaux est de plus en plus l’objet d’attention. Si les études scientifiques dans les delphinariums modernes en Europe ne peuvent démontrer un indicateur de stress clair et unanime auprès de cette espèce, il existe toutefois une demande de la société pour adapter les lieux de vie de ces animaux ». (….)
Comme s’il ne s’agissait que de stress !


Ainsi donc, fruit amer du long combat qui nous a mené de la Grande Manifestation de 2004 devant le Boudewijn Seapark puis à la proposition de résolution de loi jamais votée interdisant tout delphinarium à l’avenir en Belgique jusqu’à deux commissions successives, de nouvelles normes minimales de bien-être sont prises pour les 6 dauphins du delphinarium de Bruges. Celles-ci permettent à l’établissement de continuer à exercer son négoce en dauphins vivants et au marché de la captivité de prospérer longtemps encore, avec son cortège d’avortements, d’enfants morts nés, de séparations, de  conflits et d’ennui.

TexTex, le père de tous les nés-captifs à Bruges, mort à Antibes pour raisons inconnues

Afin de satisfaire à la demande du public et non aux besoins des cétacés sous dôme, parfaitement heureux comme l’a prouvé une étude d’un spécialiste de la malaria et des rats de laboratoire à l’Université d’Utrecht, « le Conseil du Bien-être animal est arrivé à un compromis. Un comité d’accompagnement veillera à ce que le delphinarium respecte les accords destinés à améliorer le bien-être des dauphins, tels l’agrandissement des piscines et la mise en place d’un bassin extérieur. A court terme, le delphinarium devra actualiser son programme éducatif (avec une attention particulière portée au milieu naturel des dauphins) et offrir un environnement plus riche et plus varié. De plus, l’avis du Conseil devra être sollicité en cas d’extension de l’autorisation pour la population des dauphins ».  Un lagon extérieur ? Le directeur du cirque n’est déjà pas d’accord : c’est dangereux à cause des crottes d’oiseaux, paraît-il.

Harderwijck lagon IILe lagon aux dauphins de Harderwijk

Pouvant difficilement se vanter de son taux de reproduction, Bruges met en avant dans la presse l’âge de ses dauphins. Puck a 48 ans ! Ce qui est remarquable, car « Les dauphins ont une moyenne de vie de 10 ans en liberté et de 22 en captivité ». L’ignorance de ce responsable du Boudewijn Seapark inquiète. Les plus éminentes autorités scientifiques attestent pourtant que la moyenne d’âge d’un dauphin libre – dans de bonnes conditions – est de 40-50 ans pour les mâles et jusqu’à 63 ans et plus pour certaines femelles de la Baie de Sarasota.
Les dauphins captifs vivent plus longtemps qu’avant, c’est un fait. Les progrès de l’éthologie et de la médecine vétérinaire ont permis cette évolution. Mais la question n’est pas là.

dauphin-captureCapture des dauphins « belges » en Floride, années 80

La vraie question, c’est : quelle qualité de vie est meilleure que l’autre ? Dans la mer « terrifiante pleine de dangers sans vétérinaires » ou dans un cachot chloré, nourri au poisson mort ?

Lorsqu’on lit la vie de Beachie, on voit comment la captivité tue les fondements mêmes de la culture dauphin. Elle foule au pied les usages sociaux, le plaisir immémorial que les dauphins ont de se regrouper en bandes, de voyager par trois, de socialiser avec des centaines de personnes qu’on appelle par leur nom, de rester entre femmes en cajolant des delphineaux, de filer droit dans l’océan ou de chasser en groupe selon des techniques inventives et variées. La captivité réduit la personnalité sensible et subtile d’un cétacé à l’état de chien.

Dolphins-capture-free-disney-dolphinsAinsi furent transportés Puck, Roxanne et Beachie.

D’autres crimes peut être imputé à cette industrie du cirque aquatique. Le succès flamboyant des delphinariums à l’Est est entretenu par la bonne santé commerciale de nos propres structures. Si ça marche à  SeaWorld, ça cartonnera au Pakistan ! Là-bas, on n’a pas le temps de faire se reproduire des dauphins, bien sûr : on les achète au Japon, à Cuba, à la Russie ou aux Iles Salomon. Le turn-over est rapide. Europe et USA salivent devant cette liberté de capturer ce qu’ils veulent où ils veulent, perdue dans les années 90.

En cela, le Boudewijn Seapark, comme tous ses homologues, est co-responsable de ce qui se passe à Taiji, ne serait-ce qu’en tant que membre européen de la WAZA et de l’IMATA, qui accueillent aussi les delphinariums japonais.

Taiji-nightmare aspro-ocio-palmitosPalmitos, propriété d’Aspro Ocio

Les dauphins de Bruges doivent être transportés dans l’un des vastes bassins ensoleillés dont leur propriétaire Aspro Ocio dispose en Espagne. Le delphinarium doit être fermé. Et l’ouverture de tout autre delphinarium en Belgique doit être interdite à l’avenir.  Il en va de la survie même de cette espèce.


Mais l’argent manque et l’exhibition de dauphins vivants est un créneau d’avenir.  Si l’industrie des pesticides continue impunément à prospérer, au détriment des abeilles et de la santé humaine, si l’esclavage humain revient en force, comment s’étonner que l’esclavage cétacéen refleurisse à nouveau  dans un monde où le Profit l’emporte sur l’Ethique ?

Le combat pour une Belgique sans delphinarium va donc bien au-delà de la seule interdiction des parcs marins. Il est aussi un combat pour la Planète et TOUS ses habitants. Et il ne prendra fin qu’avec la fin du dernier delphinarium.

cirques-ambulants-russie-1Russie aujourd’hui, Belgique hier.

Ancienne affiche du zoo d’Anvers

Lire aussi :

Pétition contre l’avis du Conseil du Bien-être animal 





bruges-roxanne-enfantLe bébé de Roxanne, mort à 4 jours

 SPF Santé publique, Sécurité de la Chaîne alimentaire et Environnement

Le Conseil du Bien-être animal a présenté aujourd’hui son nouvel avis sur les mesures à suivre pour les dauphins en captivité. Suite aux protestations d’organisations œuvrant pour les droits des animaux, la Chambre a approuvé une résolution appelant à la création d’une commission spéciale pour enquêter sur le bien-être des dauphins dans les delphinariums et plaidant pour un moratoire pour les delphinariums.  Le Conseil a fondé un groupe de travail en 2011 afin d’étudier les normes existantes. Ce groupe de travail a rassemblé des scientifiques, des représentants d’organisations de défense du bien-être animal et de delphinariums.

Ces dernières décennies, le bien-être des animaux est de plus en plus l’objet d’attention. Si les études scientifiques dans les delphinariums modernes en Europe ne peuvent démontrer un indicateur de stress clair et unanime auprès de cette espèce, il existe toutefois une demande de la société pour adapter les lieux de vie de ces animaux.

En Belgique, les dauphins en captivité vivent au delphinarium “Boudewijn Seapark”, à Bruges. Après de nombreuses discussions avec ce parc et les organisations œuvrant pour les droits des animaux, le Conseil du Bien-être animal est arrivé à un compromis. Un comité d’accompagnement veillera à ce que le delphinarium respecte les accords destinés à améliorer le bien-être des dauphins, tels l’agrandissement des piscines et la mise en place d’un bassin extérieur. A court terme, le delphinarium devra actualiser son programme éducatif (avec une attention particulière portée au milieu naturel des dauphins) et offrir un environnement plus riche et plus varié. De plus, l’avis du Conseil devra être sollicité en cas d’extension de l’autorisation pour la population des dauphins..

Dirk Lips, le président du Conseil du Bien-être animal, est satisfait de ce compromis. L’ASBL GAIA, qui milite pour l’intérêt des animaux, estime également qu’il s’agit d’une belle avancée, qui permettra d’améliorer les conditions de vie des dauphins dans le delphinarium brugeois. Le  compromis a été laborieux, mais honnête.

Le Conseil du Bien-être animal demande également que les normes belges existantes soient adaptées sur base de cet avis.

Vous trouverez l’avis complet et toutes les recommandations sur le site

Contact :

Sven Heyndrickx

Porte-parole adjoint SPF Santé publique, Sécurité de la Chaîne alimentaire et Environnement 0473/83.64.90

Michel Vandenbosch

Président GAIA


Geertrui Quaghebeur

Porte-parole Boudewijn Seapark


Beachie in Bruges : just an “old” and sick dolphin ?

An article of the Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad tells us that Beachie, the 31-year-old male dolphin at the Boudewijn Seapark in Bruges, had to undergo a CT-scan in October.

The medical exam took place at the Causus Clinic in Oudenburg. It seems the vet in charge, Piet De Laender, wanted to find out more about the age-related diseases amongst dolphins.

For some time now, the trainers had noticed that Beachie was behaving differently. They contacted Piet De Laender (Assebroek), a veterinarian specialized in exotic pets in who regularly checks on the inmates of the dolphinarium. The dolphin was sleeping half of the time and was no longer able to perform jumps during the shows.

“Beachie is already 30”, says insidiously De Laender, “and he suffers from age-related diseases”, implying that the death of this “old” dolphin could be a predictable and normal thing. He adds : “But he is not the oldest resident of the dolphinarium”. “Puck is already 47. I wanted to carry out these tests to detect the diseases that could be associated with Beachie’s age.”

beachie-dolphin-scanBeachie scan

Piet de Laender has asked the University of Ghent to do a scan. But Beachie, who has become obese because of captivity, was too heavy to move. “That’s why I had to find an alternative solution”, explains the vet. “Finally I found a closer solution, at the Causus Clinic in Oudenburg. The doctor Koen Vandendriessche has warmly welcomed us. The CT-scan went very well.

According to the vet, Beachie is also the 1st dolphin that has ever experienced this type of exam. He’s now waiting for the images before making a judgment about the health of his patient. As far as we can see on above video,  CT Scan mainly focused on lunges and respiratory system.


De Laender doesn’t mention this point. “We have been able to lift him out of the water using a sort of elevator”. “The dolphin has been wrapped during the transport to avoid injuries and the trainers have kept his skin constantly moist. For a long-distance transport, dolphins are often kept one or two days out of the water.”

Waching with attention images of the video, it seems Beachie is completley stonned. He seems under tanquillizer. Not a move, not a thrill. But he is awake.

“The success of this operation and this transport will be a model in the future to conduct health exams for all the dolphins”, concludes the vet, delighted. As for Beachie, he regained his pool and joined again the 5 other dolphins of the Boudewijn Seapark.


This is, anyway, the well-oiled official discourse of Captivity Industry. It is clearly about transmitting to the public quite a few solid untruths. Starting with the classical staging of good vets and wonderful trainers, who are so concerned about the health of their protégé, Beachie.  Just another old dolphin near to death.

Beachie was born in the Gulf of Mexico around 1982. He beached and was “saved” by SeaWorld in April 1984, but he was never put back to sea. After staying in Orlando, he was deported to the Harderwijk dolphinarium in 1997 and then shipped towards Belgium on the 18th of September 2009, at the Boudewijn Seapark. His “mission” was to replace the previous reproductive male, Tex, who died tragically at the Marineland (Antibes – France), because of the EEP Programs.

Beachie’s health was excellent until he arrived in Bruges. And Beachie was also a great stallion. In SeaWorld and in Harderwijk, he had given birth to Marbel, Sal’ka, T’lisala, Amtan, Palawas, Spetter and Kite, his last viable child, in 2005. Once he was moved to Bruges, he became the dad of only one stillborn child, removed from Yotta’s uterus in 2010, of stillborn twins from “old” Roxanne in 2011, and of one other child of Roxanne, a little boy who died 4 days after his birth in 2012.

bruges-roxanne-enfantRoxanne baby. 4 days.

These deaths occurred in one of the 5 contiguous pools of Bruges, where you can hear, see and feel everything.  And it is not funny to watch the agony of kids or teenagers, like poor Flo for example on the 6th of January 2012, who died alone one night of a strange tooth infection, an infection that seems to affect also Morgan and a lot of captive cetaceans…


Since his transfer from Harderwijk to Bruges, Beachie was feeling lonely and sad. It was a shock for him. He suddenly found himself in a small, limited and dark environment. He was living in a sea pen under the sun and the wind in the Netherlands with several other males, and the poor Beachie had to learn new tricks, new ways to obey and to survive alone, isolated, along with aggressive dominant females and fearful juveniles, under the sinister dome of the Boudewijn Seapark.

The air he was breathing was not the same either: the sea wind blowing on Harderwijk was replaced by a chlorine-loaded atmosphere, that takes you by the throat as soon as you enter the dark dome of the dolphinarium. Bad for your lungs when you are not used to it.

Beachie world

The trainers all think he is a little crazy. He is difficult and only does what he wants. He is even called “the Mongolian”, because of his strange look, right in the orbits. Until recently, Beachie was receiving before each show up to 10 pills of Ciprofloxacin. Ten pills before the show, then 5 pills after and 5 more pills again for the second show. That is 20 doses of antibiotics a day.

Ciprofloxacin (INN) is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic (second generation). Its spectrum of activity covers most of the pathogenic bacteria responsible for respiratory, urinary, gastrointestinal and stomach infections. In this case, the lungs seem to be the cause of the problem: Beachie’s breathing had been erratic and difficult for several months.

medicaments dauphins

Beachie: old ? At 31 years old ?
In the wild, dolphins do not need any vet, pills or food additives. Their life is more dangerous: sharks, pollution, drifting nets…
However, according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the average age for wild dolphins is between 40 and 45 for males and more than 50 for females. It’s an average, because, in Sarasota’s bay, Nicklo has celebrated his 63rd birthday in 2013, and BlackDipDoubleDip his 60th.

The fact that Puck is 47 is only exceptional because captive dolphins rarely reach that age. In Bruges, most of them died before 20.
We’ll remember that, the same way, the death of Iris (aged 34) at the Duisburg Zoo had been explained by Dr Manuel Hartmann as a result of her “old age”. Iris had been living for almost 12 years in the wild before being plunged into the hell of the Antwerp Zoo for more than 18 years, alongside with her son Ivo.
The Antwerp dolphinarium was closed in 1999, under the pressure of various associations, including Dolphin Project, and the two survivors were sent to Germany. The decline and the death of Iris in 2003 were atrocious but ignored and wrongly attributed by the dolphinarium and by a certain press to leukemia due to age.

irisgrilleIris in Antwerp. Already sick. 31 y.o

What they forgot to mention is that several factors drastically reduce the quality of life and the life even of the captives. They know it. But the show must go on. The federal commission for the welfare of the dolphins in Bruges, which has been now working for 3 years, will probably not say anything else when its findings will be made public and approved by the State.

Beachie’s death will not change anything. He will be replaced, like he himself replaced Tex. Others will die again, others will be deported. Children will be taken away from their mothers, separated from them forever. A terrible pain, as dolphins are tied together with an intensity that we cannot even conceive. They suffer from boredom, and of course from the lack of space and occupations, but their body also suffers from the inadequate environment in which they are forced to live: frozen food, food additives, hydrating gels, meds, drugs, vitamins… Chemically salted water enriched with all sorts of substances and filtered by pumps day and night. At last, they suffer also from a nagging hunger that makes them obey and repeat 1000 times the same silly tricks in front of a misinformed public.

noel_bruges_aquashowBeachie will perform Christmas show 2013 when sick

As the head of the “Planète Vie” association, Dr Yvan Beck, veterinarian and co-author, with Y.Godefroid and Gauthier Chapelle, of the book « Freedom for dolphins ! » (to be re-edited) :
“Beachie is only 30. And whatever the leaders of Bruges say, he is a young adult, as wild dolphins in natural conditions reach 50 years. So how can you explain that dolphins protected from their predators and from the pollution systematically die (with rare exceptions) before the age of 30 ? And, if Beachie is a “very” old dolphin… this is only true for captive dolphins…”

Beachie sky

Who cares?

The Boudewijn Seapark is a business indispensable to employment in the region. It benefits also from political supports. The whole case is tricky. Bruges is a Flemish town, and Christian, while Ms Laurette Onkelinx, the Minister in charge, is French speaking and socialist. So the leaders of the park seem to still have a bright future ahead of them, at least as long as this ultra-capitalist logic will prevail.

6th of November 2013: one anonymous person who just talked with someone at the dolphinarium has declared that Beachie was still sick but still had to take part to the shows, under very strong medication. If everything goes according to plan, he should also be joining the big Christmas show. And, according to another trainer in Bruges: “Anyway we still have enough dolphins”.


Life of Beachie

La vie de Beachie, reproducteur

Il faut fermer le delphinarium de Bruges

One of the things that Beachie had the greatest difficult to « learn » in Bruges when he arrived of Harderwijk (and before that of SeaWorld, and before that of the sea) it is to stand « at the foot » his trainer, stationary, while the other performed and were receiving fish for their work. A technique of training specific to the Boudewijn Seapark which lack of space and must manage 6 dolphins in front in a single basin during the show. See the Dolphin on the right, open mouth, begging: hunger is a constant in all the dolphinariums.
(YG/Annelies Mullens)

French article translated by Christelle Bornauw

Life of Beachie

La vie de Beachie, reproducteur

Il faut fermer le delphinarium de Bruges

Bite Back et le delphinarium

Pétitions FR/NL

bruges-demo-2012-aquatic-jailBeachie home

Joyeux Noël, Beachie ! Happy Xmas !

Les dauphins et les otaries dans un spectacle magique!
« Après le succès de l’année dernière, le Boudewijnpark présente la 2e édition de son Nocturne Aqua Show pendant les vacances de Noël, du 21 Décembre 2013 jusqu’au 5 janvier 2014.  Encore une fois les dauphins et les lions de mer donneront le meilleur d’eux-mêmes dans cette dernière production aux côtés des dresseurs .
La nouveauté de cette année sera l’éclairage sous-marin enchanteur et le rideau aquatique géant sur la scène avec des effets de lumière éblouissants. La musique créera une atmosphère de Noël.chaleureuse et familiale

Cette année, la chanteuse Mai-Li (12 ans), avec sa voix de rossignol, grande finaliste junior de l’Eurovision 2012, sera présente tous les jours lors de chaque spectacle ».

Pour ce pauvre « vieux » Beachie, passé récemment sous le scanner pour de graves troubles respiratoires, il s’agira peut-être des derniers shows de sa vie. Malgré sa santé défaillante, il n’en sera pas moins obligé de sauter et de sauter encore dans la lumière « sous-marine » de ce bassin qui sera bientôt sa tombe…

MaiLiMai-Li De Raeymaeker

Dolphins and sea lions in a magic show!

« After the success of last year, Boudewijnpark presents the 2nd edition of his Nocturne Aqua Show during the Christmas holidays, from 21 December 2013 until 5 January 2014. Again dolphins and sea lions will give the best of themselves alongside trainers in this latest production  This year, enchanting underwater lighting and giant water curtain on the stage with dazzling light effects ! Music will create an warm and family Xmas atmosphere. Young singer Mai- Li (12 y.o), with her nightingale voice, junior finalist of Eurovision 2012 will be present every day during each show ».

For Beachie, these shows will maybe the last ones. He recently passed under the scanner for serious respiratory problems. His health is very poor. Who cares ? Like other captives, he will have to jump in the underwater lights of his basin, which will soon become his grave …



Noel au Delphinarium
Beachie est malade

Beachie is sick