Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Zealand's Marineland loses last dolphin...

New Zealand's Marineland loses last dolphin...

The last captive dolphin at Napier's Marineland has died. Napier is in the Hawkes Bay, on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island.

Kelly, who was aged 38- year- old had been battling illness over the last week, but Marineland manager, Gary Macdonald says he did not expect her to pass away so quickly. He says staff are devastated, but relieved she did not suffer.

"Obviously everyone is extremely sad. This is an animal that myself and my staff have worked with for many, many years. She'll leave a huge gap. It's just like losing a member of the family."

Marineland is now closed until the Napier City Council and the public decide on its future. The issue is open for public consultation. Keeping dolphins in captivity is no longer a politically correct practice.

Shona, Marineland's other dolphin, died in April 2006, sparking debate on whether wild dolphins should be kept in captivity. A petition held at the time and signed by thousands of people called on the Government to allow the importation of dolphins.

Kelly and Shona arrived at Marineland in 1974 and delighted thousands of children and adults for three decades or more. The dolphins will be missed and a great loss to Napier City. Marineland was a great tourist attraction, and the only captive dolphin enclosure in New Zealand.

A bit of history here

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