Zoos & Aquariums
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1993:
The World Society for the Protection of Animals recently liberated Flipper, the
last captive dolphin in Brazil, near where he was captured in 1982. Before the release,
Flipper was reaquainted with life in the ocean under the supervision of Ric O’Barry of the
Dolphin Project––who also trained his namesake, the star of the Flipper TV program. Brazil
banned keeping marine mammals in captivity in 1991. The Brazilian Flipper spent the past
two years in solitude at an abandoned amusement park near Sao Paulo, and was kept alive
by the local fire department, who used their pumper truck to change his water after the filtra-
tion system in his tank deteriorated beyond repair.
Colorado’s Ocean Journey, the proposed aquarium to be built in Denver,
recently tried to head off protest by claiming it would include “only third generation captive-
born dolphins.” Pointed out David Brower, president of Earth Island Institute, “There are
no third-generation captive-born dolphins anywhere.” The Coors Brewing Company recent-
ly retreated from the dolphin controversy. According to a prepared statement issued
February 15, “Contrary to rumors and recent advertisements, Coors does not ‘want to bring
dolphins to Denver.’ Our support of this project is not focused on, nor dependent on,
The Kuwait Zoo reopened February 18 with 805 animals, including 35 sur-
vivors of the seven-month Iraqi occupation of 1990-1991, during which more than 700 ani-
mals starved to death.
The Shedd Aquarium, of Chicago, has a federal permit to capture three white-
sided dolphins in either Monterey Bay or the Santa Catalina Channel, along the California
coast. But the Los Angeles-based Whale Rescue Team has “a flotilla of boats, kayaks, surf-
boards, airplanes, and helicopters” ready to interfere with the effort, according to founder
Peter Wallerstein. One of five white-sided dolphins the Shedd took from Monterey Bay in
1989 died soon after capture.
The 150 animals at the Slater Park Zoo in Pawtucket will be relocated when the
zoo closes July 1, including Fanny, a 48-year-old elephant who has lived alone at the zoo
with a chain around her ankle for most of the past 35 years. Mayor Robert Metivier had tried
to keep the animals in Pawtucket in hopes of finding funds to renovate and reopen the zoo.
The financially struggling London Zoo announced February 18 that it will
become a captive breeding center for endangered species, including Asian elephants,
Sumatran tigers, and lowland gorillas. Zoo director Jo Gipps said the zoo had already raised
$3.6 million for the breeding project. The world’s oldest zoo, founded in 1827, it narrowly
escaped permanent closure several times during the past two years.
A mob of about 100 men stormed the zoo at Kannur in Kerala state, India, on
February 12, poured kerosine over 30 animal cages, and burned alive more than 100 rare
snakes, 30 rabbits, 30 white rats, seven turtles, two peacocks, six unidentified migratory
birds, several porcupines, two vultures, and an eagle. The incident apparently began with
an unrelated political dispute. Indian political organizations commonly adopt animal mas-
cots; killing the animals identified with opposing parties is a common form of protest.
The Tennessee Aquarium announced March 17 that its first-year attendance of 1.3
million had more than doubled the initial projections. The aquarium houses 7,000 animals of
300 species, including the biggest collection of turtles in North America.