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September 23, 2014

Minnesota Zoo plans final farewell for dolphins

Visitors have until Sept. 9 to say goodbye to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Allie and Semo, the Star Tribune reports.

The Apple Valley zoo’s Discovery Bay exhibit, which houses the dolphins, is closing for a major $4 million facelift.

Some lawmakers have been critical of the zoo for its handling of the bonding request. The zoo publicly announced it was getting rid of the dolphins in the spring, only after it secured the state money.

In May, zoo officials said in a letter that “due to the low availability of dolphins and the urgency of other zoo development priorities … we do not foresee exhibiting dolphins in the building’s aquatic environments.”

Six dolphins have died at the exhibit since 2006, including Taijah who passed away after coming down with a sudden illness in February.

Below is some video of Taijah: