Minnesota Zoo plans final farewell for dolphins - Bring Me The News

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.
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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:

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Dolphins leaving Minnesota Zoo

Allie and Selmo were originally going to be sent to another facility while their tank at Discovery Bay was being renovated. However, 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."

Minnesota Zoo puts on last dolphin show

The dolphin show at the Minnesota Zoo is no more. Friday marked the final day for dolphin shows at the zoo after 35 years of performances. Organizers say that the two remaining dolphins -- Allie and Selmo -- will be moving to a new, undetermined location. While the shows are done, the zoo is starting a "Farewell Week" Saturday, where people can stop by to view the dolphins and see them interact with trainers.

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Days after the Legislature approved $4 million for the Minnesota Zoo — for what many legislators thought would be used to refurbish the dolphin tanks there — the zoo announced an end to the popular exhibit. But zoo officials were thinking about moving the dolphins several months before they told the public, or the Legislature, according to documents obtained by MPR News.

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