Historic City News was saddened to learn that, earlier this week, Nellie, the oldest dolphin in human care, peacefully passed away at Marineland Dolphin Adventure. Nellie was born at Marine Studios, the precursor of Marineland Dolphin Adventure, on February 27, 1953.
For more than 61 years, Nellie touched the lives of people who walked through the doors of Marineland. She gave them the gift of awareness, education and conservation while paving the way to help protect marine mammals in the world’s oceans. A public celebration for Nellie is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 15th. Information is available on Marineland’s website and additional details will be shared as they become available.
“Nellie owns a very special place in Historic City News reader’s hearts and memories,” Gold said on learning of the passing of the dolphin he has known all of his life. “When I last saw her on her birthday a couple of years ago, I remember thinking that I needed to get my photographs now — I am so thankful that I did.”
Her presence inspired millions of guests who visited Marineland and she became an icon for other marine mammals and the zoological community, living twice the expectancy of female Atlantic bottlenose dolphins residing in the open ocean. Her age is a testament to the great level of care and love she received by the Marineland staff. Her long life provided rich new data for researchers and scientists regarding geriatric dolphins.
“This is a time to celebrate Nellie’s life and the moments we shared with her,” a Georgia Aquarium and Marineland spokesman told Historic City News local reporters today. “We would love to continue this celebration through the memories and kind words of our fans. You can share your stories through the Marineland Facebook and Twitter page, using the hashtag #Nellie.”