Dolphin pair may swim into the sunset

July 15, 2012 by  

The tide is turning on the dolphin display at the Discover Bay Aquarium.

With one dolphin gone and just two left, officials at the Minnesota Zoo in St. Paul, home to the aquarium, may soon be replacing the two remaining dolphins with schools of brilliant fish and possibly stingrays. A dolphin died earlier this spring, accelerating the decision to replace the dolphin exhibit.

Replacing tank inhabitants will coincide with the $4 million in renovations that the Minnesota Zoo will be spending to upgrade the aquarium. The zoo had originally requested $7 million and is busy altering renovation plans accordingly.

When interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio recently, Lee Ehmke, director of the Minnesota Zoo, indicated that he will try to stretch the $4 million to make essential repairs and to restock aquarium tanks with new fish and a new public favorite in other North American zoos – stingrays. Ehmke said they are looking at allowing zoo visitors an opportunity swim in the tank with the new sea creatures or at least roll up their pant legs and wade. Swimming with stingrays is relatively safe with proper supervision by a professional, provided that it takes place in shallow water and a gentle approach is adopted.

New exhibits and new animals at the zoo, whether brought in for a visit or permanently placed, are frequently heavily advertised to the public, making it a good opportunity to consult brochure printers.

While stingrays certainly are not as playful as dolphins, Ehmke is quoted as describing them as:

“Fantastic representatives of the aquatic environment.”