Dolphin Dies at Sarasota Lab 12 Years After Beaching Himself

Moonshine the dolphin
Posted at 7:40 AM, Feb 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-11 07:40:00-05

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — A dolphin that was rescued in the Florida Keys after beaching himself 12 years ago has died at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.

The Herald-Tribune of Sarasota ( reports the pantropical spotted dolphin named Moonshine died Tuesday following a brief illness. Officials at the marine laboratory announced it will close to visitors for the rest of the week.

Moonshine was rescued in 2003 by the Animal Rescue Society of Miami. He was suffering from severe sunburn. He was taken to Mote to recover, but the National Marine Fisheries Service determined he was a poor candidate for release because of liver conditions and his young age.

He quickly became a staff favorite.

Biologists will perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death.