One of the oldest Pacific white-sided dolphins in the Chicago area was euthanized Friday at the city’s Shedd Aquarium.
Tique — a 30-year-old dolphin that had been at the Shedd since the opening of the aquarium’s Abbot Oceanarium in 1991 — was euthanized after suffering from a deteriorating kidney disease for years, according to Andrea Rodgers, a spokeswoman for the aquarium.
“It is a very sad day for Shedd Aquarium,” said Tim Binder, vice president of collection planning at Shedd. “We’ve had the tremendous privilege to care for, and learn from, Tique for more than two decades.”
Tique, which means waterborne in Tinglit, an aboriginal language in Alaska, was collected in southern California and was one of the first dolphins to live at Shedd. Out of three remaining dolphins currently at the aquarium, the youngest is two years old and was born in Chicago.
An additional dolphin is currently on loan at the Miami Seaquarium.
Shedd personnel are still not sure what will be the future of Tique’s corpse, but Rodgers said donating it to an educational institution was a possibility.
Pacific white-sided dolphins are found in the North Pacific Ocean and are famous for their fast swimming speed and their ability to jump up to 20 feet. Life expectancy for these dolphins is between 20 and 40 years.