Two dolphins to be moved after Discovery Bay closed for repairs.
The public's last chance to see dolphins at the Minnesota Zoo will come early next month, zoo officials announced Thursday.
Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Allie and Semo will remain on exhibit through Sept. 9 before the Apple Valley zoo's 15-year-old Discovery Bay building is closed for repairs. It will be reopened more than a year later with other seafaring species.
The 46-year-old male Semo and 24-year-old female Allie will be moved to other facilities, where they will be part of larger social groups of dolphins.
Bringing in other dolphins to the Minnesota Zoo is not possible, officials said, because none is available from other facilities. Also, there have been no bottlenose dolphins captured from the wild and brought to the United States for more than 20 years.
Until the end of the month, the zoo's dolphin-training regimen will continue. Then, from Sept. 1-9, the zoo will host a "Dolphin Open House." Visitors can view Allie and Semo in an informal setting while the Dolphin Stadium is open. Guests also can sign a going-away card.
Once Discovery Bay is reopened, zoo officials anticipate having a temporary display of rays and fish until a larger exhibit can be funded and built.
The zoo has had dolphins since 1978. In February, a baby dolphin, Taijah, died. She was the offspring of Semo and Allie and was the sixth dolphin death at the zoo since 2006, including a stillborn calf.