A story in the British press originating out of Switzerland is outraging animal lovers across the world. A toxicology report supposedly reveals that two dolphins at the "Connyland" zoo in Lipperswil, Switzerland, died as the result of a heroin overdose following a rave at the zoo.
The dolphins, Shadow and Chelmers, suffered painful deaths after zoo handlers rented space near their training tank for a massive club-style party attended by thousands of people.
The deaths, which occurred more than a year ago, were initially blamed on antibiotics administered to the dolphins by zoo pets, according to the Daily Express. However, a "leaked" toxicology report reveals that the heroin substitute Buprenorphin was detected in the dolphins' urine following the rave.
At the time of the death, zoo keeper Nadja Gasser told local media that Shadow died first, and it wasn't long before Chelmers suffered the same fate.
"He was drifting under the water and was clearly in trouble and so we jumped into the water. We tried to hold him. He was shaking all over and was foaming at the mouth," she said. "Eventually we got him out of the water. His tongue was hanging out. He could hardly breathe. He was given adrenalin, but it didn't help. After an hour the dolphin died."
In addition to the possibility that partiers dropped illegal drugs into the dolphins' tank, animal rights activists are also criticizing the zoo for allowing such a loud event to take place near the underwater mammals which have sensitive sonar hearing.
The zoo has denied any wrong-doing, though a spokesman said he plans to follow up with prosecutors about why they didn't follow up about the dolphins being poisoned with drugs.