SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Dolphinaris Arizona -- the swim with dolphins attraction -- has drawn a lot of controversy. On Thursday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals weighed in on that facility.
In a statement to FOX 10, PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman says:
"PETA is working with local organizations, including Dolphin Free AZ, to hold an opening-day protest at Dolphinaris Arizona, where dolphins will be forced to swim in endless circles while exposed to desert temperatures exceeding 115 degrees.
Dolphinaris, like all "abusement" parks, that deny far-ranging dolphins everything that's natural and important to them just to turn a buck, should follow the lead of the National Aquarium and retire these dolphins to coastal sanctuaries, where they belong."
Activists says dolphins don't belong in the desert for human entertainment.
In a statement to FOX 10, Dolphinaris Arizona says:
"The Dolphins at Dolphinaris Arizona were all born and raised under human care and are loved and cared for by a team of professional trainers, veterinarians and water quality experts. Trainers use only positive rewards and Dolphins enjoy extensive social opportunities, behavioral enrichment, and high-quality food.
Dolphinaris is a federally licensed and inspected facility and the company has gone to great lengths to ensure our dolphins are thriving in the Sonoran Desert. The 900,000-gallon salt-water lagoon is maintained at a stable temperature between 75-80 degrees since, unlike humans and other terrestrial species, Dolphins regulate their internal body temperature based upon the temperature of water not air.
Dolphins and other cetaceans are found in a wide range of habitats including arctic, temperate, tropical and desert climates. More than 1/3 of marine mammal species may be found near Arizona in the Gulf of California, including the world's most critically endangered marine mammal, the vaquita or "desert porpoise." The range of the few dozen remaining vaquita is barley 50 miles from the southern Arizona border, bounded by the Sonoran desert."
Dolphinaris Arizona opens Saturday, October 15 near Loop 101 and Via de Ventura.