Minnesota Zoo Director and CEO Lee Ehmke recently released a statement explaining the state-funded organization’s decision to stop housing dolphins in Discovery Bay. Controversy around the care of the zoo’s dolphins escalated in February when a young dolphin died suddenly, the sixth dolphin to die in the zoo’s custody since 2006. Ehmke alluded to his concern for the wellbeing of the remaining animals in the exhibit but largely presented it as a matter of logistical considerations. He wrote the decision had two causes; “the welfare of the two beloved dolphins currently at the Zoo, and the fiscal and logistical challenges of acquiring a viable dolphin group to replace them.”
Mpls.St.Paul Magazine published its own in-depth feature Tuesday about the series of deaths at the zoo, with information from the necropsy reports, interviews with Ehmke and other employees of the zoo, and research from dolphin neurologist, Dr. Lori Marino.