In 2018 Barcelona city pledged it would be free of captive cetaceans, this decision was the result of a two-year campaign. Over that period, discussions took place on whether the dolphin facility at the city’s zoo would be expanded or an alternative found for the dolphins held there. In 2016 two of the dolphins were moved to L’Oceanografic, Valencia, and since that time plans for the future of the remaining three dolphins were discussed, however more recently authorities in Barcelona favoured them being sent to Attica Zoological Park in Greece.
Dolphinaria-Free Europe opposed this plan because Greek law states no animal should be used for performance yet despite this ruling and although their license was suspended earlier this year, the authorities have surprisingly overturned this suspension and issued Attica with a new license, on the proviso that the dolphins are not used for shows/feeding sessions but are allowed to be on display.
The dolphins from Barcelona Zoo have now been transferred to Attica Park, officials say this was due to the fact that the park could offer the dolphins more adequate conditions. Previously Greece CITES rejected the request to transfer the dolphins, therefore the fact that this has now been authorised to take place is extremely disappointing.
Dolphinaria-Free Europe is now addressing the conditions behind this turn around with the license that allowed the transfer to take place and the future for the dolphins at Attica Park.
The male calf born on 8 June to Amtan at Planete Sauvage, France has died. The park has reported the cause of death to be a heart defect/malfunction.
This is the second calf to have died at the park since 2016 when Aicko, another male calf died. Planete Sauvage has never given any definite reason for the cause of death and the dolphin’s body was quickly sent to an animal disposal unit.
We will report more detailed information on the recent death if and when this is released by the park itself.
On Thursday 28 May, the male bottlenose dolphin known as Teide was found floating in his tank at Genoa Aquarium. Teide was born on 28 September 1997 at Aqualand, Costa Adeje, Tenerife before being moved in June 1999 to Gardaland and then finally to Genoa Aquarium in March 2012.
The cause of death is as yet unknown, however veterinary staff from Genoa Aquarium will conduct an examination in collaboration with the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Piedmont, Liguria and Valle d’Aosta and the pathologists of the University of Padua to investigate/determine why this dolphin died, having apparently had no underlying medical conditions or visible injuries.
There are currently two facilities operating in Kazakhstan holding bottlenose dolphins for public display and shows; Dolphinarium Nemo in Almaty and Happylon amusement centre in Nur-Sultan, Astana.
Dolphinaria-Free Europe is supporting the work of campaigners in the country to raise public awareness via schools and social networks on the issues surrounding cetaceans in captivity, and are also asking the government to bring into place laws to prevent the opening of new facilities and address the welfare and conditions of dolphins in existing ones.
The Dolphinaria-Free Europe coalition has written a letter stating our concerns, to the Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, whose department oversees such issues in Kazakhstan. It has been reported that two dolphins from the facility in Nur-Sultan have been returned to Russia in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and we are asking that the Minister take this opportunity to close the vacant facility, prevent the return of the two dolphins, and ban any future facilities being established in Kazakhstan.
Add your support to the campaign by sending a polite email to the Minister requesting that:
The vacant facility in Nur-Sultan, Astana be permanently closed and the dolphins not allowed to be returned from Russia.
Consideration is given to closing the Nemo dolphin facility in Armaty.
Legislation is established to prohibit any imports of dolphins or whales into the country or new facilities being built in the future.