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Stingrays may replace dolphins at Minnesota Zoo

Schools of fish and stingrays will likely replace dolphins at the Minnesota Zoo, at least in the short term, MPR reports. The zoo decided this spring it would no longer house dolphins after one died in February, leaving only two in the collection.
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Minnesota Zoo officials say they will replace the popular dolphins with fish and stingrays in the Discovery Bay exhibit, MPR reports. Officials are mulling how they might best use $4 million the Legislature gave the zoo to renovate the tank.

At some point, the public might have a chance to swim or wade in the tank, MPR reports.

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.

The zoo lost a female dolphin calf named Taijah in February after a sudden and acute illness.

The two remaining dolphins, Semo and Allie, will be relocated in the fall so the zoo can begin renovations to the popular Discovery Bay exhibit.

The Pioneer Press recently had a slideshow of the dolphins.

Here's 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.

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.

Lawmakers want probe of dolphin exhibit at Minn. Zoo

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.

Minnesota Zoo mourning death of baby dolphin

Taijah, a playful dolphin who was popular with zoo staff and guests alike, passed away after coming down with a sudden illness.

Cause of baby dolphin death at the Minnesota Zoo remains uncertain

The Star Tribune reports the zoo's pathologist wasn't able to find anything specific as to why the young Atlantic bottlenose dolphin passed away from complications of a stomach ulcer in early February. This was the third baby dolphin to die at the zoo in the past six years.

Zoo CEO: No way to save dolphin exhibit

Minnesota Zoo CEO and Director Lee Ehmke is trying to clarify why the zoo will soon discontinue its dolphins exhibition. There are two main reasons, he said, "the welfare of the two beloved dolphins currently at the zoo, and the fiscal and logistical challenges of acquiring a viable dolphin group to replace them." There are just "no viable" options to keep it going, he said.