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March 19, 2004

Rescued Dolphin To Debut At Six Flags Marine World

Vallejo, CA -- Cupid is a little flirt. The young Valentine's Day dolphin, lavished with loving attention 24 / 7 by human caretakers after he washed up, near death, on Bryan Beach near Freeport, Texas, on February 14, 2003, Cupid today is healthy, affectionate, playful and ready to charm Six Flags Marine World visitors.

Cupid the dolphin makes his public debut at a preview for 2004 Season Pass holders on Friday, March 19, and for Park guests on Six Flags Marine World opening day on Saturday, March 20.

Fans of the dolphin darling will get an underwater view of Cupid swimming, diving, playing with his toys, interacting with trainers and people-watching through the windows of the Dolphin Discovery exhibit pool.

Cupid's dramatic rescue started when Texas fisherman Christopher Cruse called the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network to help the barely breathing baby dolphin he saw stranded on the sandy beach. The weak, dehydrated and disoriented young dolphin was transported to the group's Galveston headquarters for life-saving intensive care, evaluation and rehabilitative therapy.

Thanks to a full year of round-the-clock attention from TMMSN's largely volunteer staff, Cupid survived and thrived in human care, though TMMSN staff and veterinarians noted abnormal behavior patterns that indicate a permanent neurological condition. The dolphin's disoriented swimming, particularly when sleeping or at rest, and its occasional seizure-like episodes, would make Cupid vulnerable to sharks and other predators in the open ocean. The National Marine Fisheries Service determined that the best long-term alternative for Cupid is placement in a marine life park.

FedEx Express delivered Cupid the Valentine's Day dolphin swiftly and safely to Six Flags Marine World just before Valentine's Day 2004, donating the 200-pound dolphin's transportation. Cupid quickly adapted to his new surroundings and new trainers during a routine 30-day quarantine period.

At Six Flags Marine World, Cupid's behavior and neurological condition will be observed and evaluated, with the goal of integrating the dolphin newcomer into the social structure of the eight other dolphins who live at the Park.

And Park guests who meet Cupid will be falling in love.

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