(Baltimore) – The National Aquarium is deeply saddened to report the sudden passing of its eldest Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, Nani.
On February 27, Nani began to exhibit unusual behavior. Although the animal care team responded and provided emergency care immediately, Nani was unable to recover and passed away on Monday evening. Efforts are underway to determine her cause of death.
At 44* years of age, Nani was the matriarch of the Aquarium’s colony and the mother of Beau and Spirit. Born in the wild, Nani came to Baltimore in 1990 from another institution that closed.
“We all loved Nani dearly,” said National Aquarium Chief Executive Officer John Racanelli. “She was very much a member of the National Aquarium family, and we are heartbroken to lose her.”
Nani, which means “beautiful” in Hawaiian, was an integral part of the National Aquarium community for more than 25 years.
The National Aquarium is home to seven other Atlantic bottlenose dolphins: Jade, Spirit, Chesapeake, Maya, Bayley, Beau and Foster. The Aquarium announced in June 2016 that they would create the first North American dolphin sanctuary in Florida or the Caribbean, set to open in 2020.
*According to NOAA records, Nani was estimated to be 45 years old.