Bottlenose dolphin Maxine dies at Brookfield Zoo

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Maxine, a 3 1/2-year-old bottlenose dolphin, died at the Brookfield Zoo earlier this month | Chicago Zoological Society

Maxine, a 3 1/2-year-old bottlenose dolphin, died at the Brookfield Zoo from complications related to an acute bacterial infection, zoo officials announced Tuesday.

The dolphin, who was born at the west suburban zoo, was an “active, gregarious animal,” senior vice president of animal programs Bill Zeigler told the Sun-Times.

She died June 2.

Earlier in a news release, Zeigler said Maxine’s death was “devastating to all of the Chicago Zoological Society family.”

Zeigler said the staff first noticed the infection –– a virulent strain of a naturally occurring bacteria –– roughly three days ago. The infection spread into Maxine’s bloodstream and began to attack her organs despite “tireless efforts,” he said.

The infection was an “isolated case,” zoo officials said, adding that there was no cause for concern for the other dolphins.

“We routinely monitor the health and welfare of all of our animals,” Zeigler said in his statement in the news release. “Additional health screenings for our other dolphins and their environment were performed.”

Brookfield Zoo started the country’s first inland dolphinarium in 1961.

Maxine’s mother is among the seven bottlenose dolphins remaining at the zoo.


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