Zoo Dolphin Dies in Accident Dolphins were playing when 'freak' accident occurred, say trainers By Mark Russell, Newser Staff Posted Sep 7, 2011 5:02 AM CDT 5 comments Comments An accident by roughhousing dolphins at an Illinois zoo led to the death of a young female bottlenose dolphin on Monday. (©NOAA's National Ocean Service) (Newser) – A freak dolphin collision at an Illinois aquarium killed a young female, reports ABC News. Trainers did not see what happened, but say the dolphins were playing when they heard a "pop" just before an afternoon show earlier this week. They rushed the 4-year-old bottlenose dolphin into a medical pool, but were unable to revive her. "It's a devastating loss for the staff and for our zoo and for anyone who had a relationship with her," said a trainer.