VALLEJO (CBS SF) – A longtime resident bottlenose dolphin at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo passed away Saturday. She was 51 years old, park officials said.
Terry, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, died late Saturday night, far exceeding the expected dolphin lifespan of 25 years.
Park officials said she was the park’s oldest dolphin of her kind and one of the oldest dolphins living in a North American marine mammal facility.
Terry had been with the park since its Redwood City days, before it moved to its Vallejo site in 1985. Park staff said visitors didn’t notice that Terry was older than other dolphins except that she had lost most of her teeth.
Her training staff said in the past few years she slowed down but stayed active, keeping up with her favorite activities such as sleeping and swimming with her fin holding a small hoop.
Staff said she stayed agile and friendly, continuing through old age to wave, kiss and hug the audience and wow them with her air spin and squirt gun moves.
Her cause of death is pending a necropsy, but her caretakers predict old age was the only thing stopping Terry.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is located at 1001 Fairgrounds Drive in Vallejo.
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