The National Aquarium's eldest Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, Nani, died suddenly Monday.
Aquarium officials said the dolphin began exhibiting unusual behaviors, causing animal health teams to respond with immediate emergency care. Her condition quickly declined, and officials are working to determine the cause of her death.
Nani, 44, was the matriarch of the National Aquarium’s colony, and is the mother of Beau and Spirit. She was born in the wild, the Aquarium said, and came to Baltimore in 1990.
"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," officials said. "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."