Citizens protest against dolphin tank in Gulfport

Concerned citizens are speaking out against the plans for a dolphin tank at the new Gulfport aquarium set to open in 2019.
News 25’s Taylor Rubach spoke with the activists outside Gulfport City Hall where the vigil took place.
‘Empty the tanks,’ ‘captivity kills,’ ‘shut down this dolphin prison,’ these words posted outside the Gulfport City Hall building in an attempt made by animal activists to awaken city officials of the controversial plans to imprison dolphins. Bethany Cates and daughter Dorothea say they’re a voice for those mammals. “The dolphins we can see them in nature. We can see them right here every day, every evening at sunset. You can go out and fish. The dolphins will come and see if you fish in the same spot. I’ve experienced it myself.”
“My poster shows that dolphins have already gone through a lot of things and they don’t want to be captured anymore and they are our friends,” said Dorothea.
Doll Stanley campaigns for the Mississippi Justice for Animals. At the Gulfport City Council meeting on Tuesday, she presented Mayor Billy Hewes with petitions signed by two hundred thousand people to ban dolphin performances. “We have introduced an ordinance which would allow for the eight dolphins that are in the current facility to be moved over to the new Mississippi Aquarium, but not to engage in either breeding or capturing new dolphins for the facility.”
When News 25 reached out to the City of Gulfport they declined to comment. Still, Stanley says city leaders have been cooperative, but she’s praying for the overall solution to not capture anymore dolphins. “If there is a project and there are projects now where they’re trying to set up natural environments to take these animals out of aquariums and zoos and put them in a more natural setting then we would like to see Gulfport cooperate when that time comes,” said Stanley.

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