Wednesday four dolphins from Dolphinaris Arizona were moved to a first of it’s kind, open sea sanctuary at Coral World Icean Park on St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands. The dolphins were removed from the troubled Arizona aquarium after several dolphins died from unknown causes.
The dolphins, all born in human care, will make their new home at the St. Thomas Sea Sanctuary at Water Bay in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Coral World’s new 69,000 sq. ft. sanctuary is the first of its kind that meets the requirements of the federal government’s Marine Mammal Protection Act and Animal Welfare Act.
The dolphins will be living and swimming in a large natural ocean habitat enclosed by a mesh barrier, while veterinarians and dolphin experts monitor them and provide care to keep them happy and healthy. They will be given some time to adjust to their new home before they’re introduced to the public.
They will then play a key role in Coral World’s mission to educate the public about marine life and motivate the next generation of conservation advocates.
Coral World offers a variety of different animal interactions, but the key to the park are its conservation efforts. Coral World has helped with shark and turtle research as well as clean up of local beaches and tourist spots.
It should be noted that animal rights activists are upset at this move, though they’ve been fighting for years to have dolphins, beluga whales and orcas moved to open sea sanctuaries.