Gambit the dolphin (Facebook, SAAMBR)
Gambit the dolphin (Facebook, SAAMBR)
  • uShaka Marine World’s beloved bottlenose dolphin Gambit died on Monday. 
  • At 48, he was one of the oldest dolphins ever documented. 
  • The 480kg dolphin was also believed to be the largest bottlenose dolphin in any oceanarium in the world
  • For mores stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Beloved uShaka Marine World dolphin Gambit, who was believed to be the largest bottlenose dolphin in any oceanarium in the world, died on Monday.  He was one of the oldest dolphins ever documented. 

Gambit, who turned 48 last year,  entertained over 18 million visitors in his lifetime - first at the Durban aquarium and then, since 2004, at uShaka Marine World. 

Gambit was father to five and grandfather to one of the uShaka Sea World dolphins. 

In recent months though, the 480kg dolphin was beginning to slow down and show signs of his age and was being carefully monitored by the oceanarium’s animal care and veterinary teams.

“His passing today was unexpected but thankfully swift, leaving an enormous hole in the hearts of the uShaka Sea World team, many of whom have worked with Gambit for over 20 years,”  South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) assistant curator Gabby Harris said. 

Gambit on his birthday July 28, 2019 (uShaka Marin
Gambit on his birthday July 28, 2019 (uShaka Marine World)

SAAMBR CEO Larry Oellermann said he first saw Gambit in 1977 at the old Durban aquarium.  “The awe he inspired in me then was one of the reasons I became a marine biologist,” Oellermann said. 

SAAMBR’s conservation strategist Judy Mann said they have been overwhelmed with an outpouring of affection for Gambit since he passed away. 

“Gambit allowed countless people the opportunity to peer beneath the sea and meet one of its great ambassadors. He has played a vital role in SAAMBR’s mission to connect people to the life of the ocean,” Mann said. 

“Our challenge is to translate this outpouring of compassion into meaningful action for our oceans, as we continue to work towards conserving our oceans not only for dolphins but all marine life.” 

(Compiled by James de Villiers)

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