Cause of death for Dolphinaris dolphin revealed

Officials with Dolphinaris have released the cause of death for Alia, a 10-year-old bottlenose dolphin that passed away in May.

Back in May, Dolphinaris officials said Alia had displayed some unusual behaviors in the days prior to her death. According to a statement released on Friday, results from independent pathologists with teh University of Illinois laboratories determined that Alia had an acute bacterial infection that spread quickly through her body, and that Alia succumbed to septicemia, or an infection in the bloodstream.

In addition, the statement said third-party lab results from the University of Illinois ruled out Valley Fever or any other type of fungal infection related to the desert environment, and that the infection was not contagious to other dolphins or to humans.

"Alia's passing has deeply saddened her trainers and all of us at Dolphinaris," said Christian Schaeffer de Leon, General Manager at Dolphinaris Arizona. "Her time with us has reinforced our commitment to educating and inspiring the public to care about and help protect marine mammals in the wild. Our guests tell us that meeting dolphins up-close creates lasting connections and motivates them to become better stewards of the ocean."