Animal protection group the Dolphin Project has confirmed the death of the “world’s loneliest dolphin.”
Named Honey, the female bottlenose dolphin was reportedly found to have died alone on March 29 at an abandoned Japanese aquarium just as rescue attempts were being made on its behalf.
Honey, who was captured near Taiji in 2005, first made global headlines in 2018 after it was revealed that she had been abandoned at the Marine Park Aquarium in Choshi.
Before she died, the only company she had for the last two years was 46 penguins as well as fish and reptiles after the facility closed in January 2018 due to a lack of visitors.
Despite being closed, employees of the marine park were at least feeding the animals, according to reports. It was not made clear, however, how the food was sourced and how much was provided.
Images that emerged back in March 2018 showed the dolphin languishing in a tiny pool by itself. Distressed-looking penguins can also be seen in another photo in piles of loose concrete. In response to the animal rights groups’ demands of justice for the animals, Chiba prefecture’s public health center has claimed that the dolphin and penguins are being properly cared for.
Dolphin Project made many attempts to find a new home for Honey and the other animals left in the park.
“In November 2018, according to a well-informed source, the aquarium was in debt and seeking a buyer,” the organization noted. “The following year in 2019, we learned that the aquarium had indeed been sold, and along with it, Honey. The sale of the park was confirmed by the Kaisou Health Center, which managed the health of the animals at Inubosaki Marine Park Aquarium.”
In February, Dolphin Rescue tried to buy Honey again so she could retire “in peace and dignity.”
“These conversations ended in early March when it became apparent Honey was unlikely to survive. Later that month on March 29, Honey died in her tank.”