Dolphinaris Arizona has been caught in a lie over the cause of death of Bodie, a 7 year old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.
Bodie died on September 23, 2017. According to Dolphinaris, his cause of death was a “rare muscle disorder and kidney failure”.
However, yesterday CBS5 (a news station in Arizona) obtained records from NOAA stating that Bodie’s cause of death was a fungal infection.
While CBS5 first speculated that Bodie had Valley Fever (fungal lung infection caused by Coccidioides), Dolphinaris has since rebuked that claim. According to the facility Bodie had Mucormycosis, a different species of fungal lung infection.
According to the Center for Disease Control:
“Mucormycosis is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes. These molds live throughout the environment. Mucormycosis mainly affects people with weakened immune systems and can occur in nearly any part of the body. It most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air, or the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other type of skin trauma.”
Unlike humans, dolphins have no ‘filter’ between the opening to the airway and the lungs. So any and all pathogens have direct lung access, resulting in dolphins being more vulnerable to respiratory illness.
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