Will you be less likely to visit the Minnesota Zoo without its dolphins?

The Minnesota Zoo has announced that it will soon close its dolphin exhibit. The announcement came three days after the governor signed a bonding bill that included money to renovate the building that houses the dolphins. Today’s Question: Will you be less likely to visit the Minnesota Zoo without its dolphins?

  • There are many charms to the Minnesota Zoo. The dolphins are and were but one of them. Still, I am highly disappointed by the Zoo’s decision. I was enchanted by the idea, when I moved here, that a Zoo in the middle of the country would have dolphins.

    And now we won’t.

  • Christie

    It won’t make a difference, it’s a beautiful Zoo with many, many wonderful exhibits and inhabitants to see and learn about.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Maybe more likely. As intelligent as dolphins are, I cringe whenever I see them in captivity.

  • Jamison

    The dolphins were a nice addition, but all the tragedies over the years have made it difficult to keep it going with the same energy. In recent years when I’ve gone to the shows, it’s been a shadow of what it was 9-10 years ago with a tank full of young jumping dolphins.

    Things change and I’m excited to see what the next step is for the aquatics program at the zoo. I was sad to see the beluga whales go as well, but for the most part the MN Zoo has always impressed me with coming up with great new exhibits.

  • GregX

    Nah … I live near the Como Zoo and I’ve never found the Minnesota Zoo to be a big enough step up to justify any kind of regular attendance. Watching trained/manipulated dolphins just isn’t a thrill. Now that we have leaping carp – maybe we train them ???

  • Mark in Freeborn

    No. The MN Zoo is OK but the Como Park Zoo is so much more interesting, on so many levels. The MN Zoo is waaaaaay overrated.

  • Ann

    I decided long ago that it was too expensive to go back there. It is not an option for people with low incomes.

  • Gary F

    The world didn’t end when the beluga whales left.

    Geez, at some point you have to drain the tank and fix it. Once it’s fixed, they will figure out what to put in it and the sun will rise again.

    There is so much else to see there, why all the hand wringing about the dolphins?

  • Tom

    Actually I applaud the decision. My wife and I are members and bring our daughter there once a month. We had considered dropping our membership due to the zoo’s insistence on keeping the mammals that were dying at a rate of one a year for the past 6 years.

  • Jim G

    It won’t affect our visits to the MN Zoo. Off the coast of Ventura, California near the Channel Islands I have seen thousands of wild dolphins. They were visible breaching to the horizon. It is one of the very few places on this planet where you can view social animals like these in their natural habitat. Since then, I’ve avoided the dolphin exhibit and its solitary confinement pool. It was a reminder of the hubris of our own species. Anyway, when I go the zoo the most exciting viewing to is the Homosapien diversity on display. There I go again… off to the farm.

  • Amy

    Yeah! A group that claims to be a conversation organization should not keep intelligent mammals captive. Dolphins are not show pieces.

  • Sarah

    I will be more likely to go. After seeing the documentary “The Cove,” I can’t imagine why anyone would be okay with dolphin captivity.

  • Joshua

    Nope. You rarely caught a glimpse of them anyways. Hopefully now there will be something in that giant tank of water.

  • Michelle

    The presence of dolphins will not sway my decision to go to the zoo at all. And, I honestly can see both sides of the argument. As an ecologist, I cringe at the thought of captive dolphins. Well, captive animals in general, actually. But I try to keep in mind that I happen to have a job that allows me to see these creatures in their natural habitat; most people do not get such an opportunity. If seeing a couple of captive dolphins can inspire a generation of people to care about their relatives in the wild, I think it’s a good (and small) price to pay.

  • Adam

    I take my three and five year old to the zoo nearly weekly and have for years. Nothing about that will change. Sure, I’ll miss seeing the dolphins (and so will the kids), but the stadium was always a little lackluster (it wasn’t ever finished), and the shows were so-so. I think the zoo had a great idea to make a go of them, but large marine mammals are an expensive and large time commitment. If the zoo uses the same energy and creativity that brought us Grizzly Coast in replacing them, I have no fears that the next attraction will be better than the dolphins ever could have been.

  • Rob Bauer

    The captivity of Dolphins, Killer Whales, Apes, and other intelligent animals is somewhat troubling. How do you keep such animals stimulated enough? The zoo’s reasons for ending the exhibit show a true concern for the animals and at least they aren’t capturing wild animals to try to fill a capitalistic need. We will continue to visit the zoo as long as their good intentions for their wards always shows threw.

  • jessica

    Sad yes, but i am sad that they keep dying. As another commenter said, it is really expensive to go the zoo. For a family of six, i nearly spend half my food budget on admission. Its beautiful and i love it but out of reach for so many minnesotans.