Minnesota Zoo Receives $4 Million in 2012 Capital Investment Bill
Apple Valley, MINN – May 11, 2012 – The Minnesota State Legislature has passed and Governor Dayton has signed the 2012 Capital Investment bill. The Minnesota Zoo is thankful to have received $4 million in the bill, which will allow us to begin to address our most pressing asset preservation need: Discovery Bay.
Built 15 years ago, the Zoo’s Discovery Bay building is in need of significant repairs to correct damage caused over time by salt water in the pools and atmosphere. This work will include resealing the pools and reinforcing parts of the building that have been adversely affected by salt water intrusion. The Zoo is investigating and assessing specific maintenance and repair needs, and we anticipate results and an action plan to be developed early this summer.
Making the necessary repairs inside Discovery Bay requires draining the pools where the Zoo’s dolphins live. As a result, dolphins “Allie” and “Semo” will relocate to other accredited facilities where they will join dolphin groups. Semo is currently the oldest male dolphin living in human care, a testament to the quality husbandry he’s received for over 40 years. The Zoo plans on announcing when the dolphins are scheduled to move so that Zoo guests can come to say goodbye before they leave.
The Minnesota Zoo is engaged in a comprehensive master planning process, identifying and sequencing new projects and exhibits throughout the Zoo. Due to the low availability of dolphins and the urgency of other Zoo development priorities, at this time we do not foresee exhibiting dolphins in the building’s aquatic environments. As part of the master planning process, we are working to determine what other aquatic animals and environmental education activities might be featured in Discovery Bay when the pool repairs are completed. Dolphins have been an important part of the Minnesota Zoo experience, and we will continue to support our dolphin consortium partners, the public display of dolphins, marine mammal care programs, and the science and research that is such a critical part of the mission of accredited zoos and aquariums across North America.
The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).