Saturday, April 08, 2006

Napier's Marineland has only one dolphin left!

Napier's Marineland is confident it can continue to be a successful tourist attraction despite the death yesterday of one of its two dolphins. Shona, who was 36, had been unwell for eight weeks. The Napier City Council has been told by the Government that it is unlikely the marine park will be able to be granted a permit for importing dolphins bred in other zoos.

Marineland manager Gary Macdonald said: "I'm confident we will get through it. We've been working with a consultant for the past few years to deal with this situation but there is no doubt Marineland will change dramatically." The marine park - the only one of its type in the country - was known as "the dolphin pool" and while there was still one dolphin, Kelly, the programme would continue for the foreseeable future, he said.

As no replacement dolphins were allowed at Marineland, how long the programme continued would depend on the health of Kelly, who was around the same age as Shona, he said. "We'll keep the basic premise in mind that things will change - but not while we still have Kelly." A post-mortem examination on Shona will be done at Massey University. Marineland would be closed as staff organised an attraction with the one remaining dolphin.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"