Mourning the Loss of Nani

The National Aquarium is deeply saddened to report the sudden passing of our eldest Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, Nani. 

Published February 28, 2017


Yesterday afternoon, Nani began to exhibit unusual behaviors. Although our animal health team responded immediately with emergency care, Nani’s condition quickly declined and she passed away on Monday evening. Efforts are underway to determine her cause of death. 

At 44* years of age, Nani was the matriarch of the Aquarium’s colony, and is the mother of Beau and Spirit. Born in the wild, Nani came to Baltimore in 1990 from another institution that had to close. 

Nani, which means “beautiful” in Hawaiian, was an integral part of the National Aquarium community for more than 25 years and we feel so fortunate to have had her in our lives. In the days, weeks and months ahead, we’ll remember and celebrate the joy and wonder Nani brought to staff and guests alike. 

We thank you for your support during this difficult time.

*According to NOAA records, Nani was estimated to be 45 years old.
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