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Image: Peter Flood

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Sweden’s last dolphin shows to end

Dolphin in captivity

Sweden will become dolphinaria-free following the announcement by Kolmården Zoo in Stockholm that it will be closing its dolphin facility, which currently holds twelve bottlenose dolphins.

The Zoo says it wants to focus on the conservation of endangered species and end its 50-year-old era of keeping dolphins. The dolphinarium will remain in operation until the twelve dolphins are relocated to other facilities.

The closure of Sweden's only dolphinarium will mean that the number of EU countries keeping dolphins captive for entertainment will drop to 13.

Zoos often argue conservation as a reason for captivity, but this is not a relevant argument for whales and dolphins.

Keeping them in featureless tanks for public entertainment is cruel. They may swim endlessly in circles, some lie on the floor of the tank for many hours, chew on the sides of the pool and repeat the same patterns of behavior over and over.

One alternative is to create wild sea sanctuaries so that former captive dolphins can live out the rest of their natural lives without having to perform silly tricks for human fun.

More on sanctuaries and WDC’s work to create them here

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