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MAY 23, 2004

Howard the Dolphin leaves West Edmonton Mall

  • Howard the dolphin.
    Howard the dolphin.

    CBC - cbc.ca
  • Howard the dolphin took his flight away from Edmonton in a Falcon 20 jet, similar to what is shown here.
    Howard the dolphin took his flight away from Edmonton in a Falcon 20 jet, similar to what is shown here.

In the middle of the night, at 2 a.m. on Sunday May 23, 2004, Howard the Dolphin left the home he knew for nearly 20 years. Just a day before, he took his final swim in the tank where, since 1985, he performed countless tricks and maneuvers for mall visitors young and old. 

Howard’s health had been at risk since the year before, when his partner Mavis passed away. The mall reportedly spent a 6-month period planning the move, which was a daunting task. 

At 2 a.m. that Sunday morning, Howard was loaded onto a stretcher and placed in a specialized transport container. He was immediately transported to the local municipal airport and loaded onto a Falcon 20 private jet and was in his new home by 4 a.m. He was accompanied by his trainer and veterinarians. The transport cost over $40,000 USD and involved around 100 people.

As dolphins are not known for doing well in captivity, the move was expected and a relief to both the mall and animal right groups.

 


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