Dolphin dies at SeaWorld Orlando

By Mike Westfall, Senior Digital Media Producer
Last Updated: Friday, March 06, 2015, 5:40 PM EST

SeaWorld Orlando says an adult male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin died Friday at the theme park.

The cause of the animal's death was not immediately known. The 22-year-old dolphin had not shown signs of illness before its death, according to Fred Jacobs, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment's vice president of communications.

Jacobs said SeaWorld's veterinarians have begun a postmortem examination to determine the cause of death. The results of that examination could take 6–8 weeks.

"The dolphin, one of more than 80 bottlenose dolphins living in at our Orlando parks, will be missed by all of us at SeaWorld," Jacobs said.

According to SeaWorld, most bottlenose dolphins live 20 years or less, but studies have shown they can live into their 40s and 50s. On average, bottlenose dolphins in marine parks and aquariums live longer than their counterparts in the wild, and are expected to live more than 25 years.