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Dolphin Advocates To Protest Oklahoma City Zoo

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly Bergeron (580) 256-5275
Robin Reinhart (918) 583-5996
Pam Kelly (918) 486-5824

Protest of Oklahoma City Zoo's Aquaticus planned for July 22, 2000 Oklahoma City, Okla., July 19, 2000 - "Dolphin Advocates of Oklahoma", a newly formed group of concerned citizens, have announced today the protest of the Oklahoma City Zoo's Aquaticus - with demonstrations scheduled for Saturday, July 22.>

The demonstration is in response to the death of the latest dolphin at Aquaticus, "Harley" who died on June 7,2000.

The death of Harley was initially reported as heart failure and later linked to the Streptococcus zooepidemicus bacteria that had invaded all of his organs. In 1998, two other dolphins held at the facility, "Sally" and "Turbo" died from the same illness. This marks a total of six dolphins to die since the opening of Aquaticus in 1986. The group is calling for concerned citizens to join in this protest and boycott Aquaticus. "Dolphin slavery is a billion dollar a year industry," said Bert Richard, an attorney with the Oklahoma County public defender's office. "If profits aren't made, the dolphins would be rehabilitated and returned to the ocean where they belong." The goal of the group is to close Aquaticus and see the dolphins rehabilitated and returned to the ocean or re-adapted to a more natural environment, such as a natural sea lagoon, where they are no longer required to perform for food. The dolphins at Aquaticus are leased from Marine Animal Productions in Gulfport, Mississippi.

The zoo pays Marine Animal Productions $16,750 a month for dolphin shows, including veterinary care, supplies, food and a trainer.

For more information on our new group and the dolphins at the Okla. City Zoo visit our website at:

Dolphin Advocates