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Parc Astérix closes its dolphinarium before the debate on animal abuse

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Parc Asterix announced on Monday the closure of its aquarium, which had eight dolphins. This announcement comes on the eve of the debate, Tuesday in the National Assembly, on the bill against animal abuse to ban the detention of cetaceans.

No more dolphinarium at Parc Astérix. The amusement park announced this closure, Monday, January 25, in a statement posted on its site. The cetacean aquarium in the park located in the Oise, dating from 1989, indicates that this “decision to close is based on the desire to concentrate on its historical activity as an amusement park”.

“We have been thinking about it for years. I would even say that the decision was taken three years ago,” the director general of the park, Nicolas Kremer, told the Parisian on Monday.

The first reading examination of the bill to combat animal abuse begins on Tuesday in the National Assembly. This text provides in particular that the detention and reproduction of cetaceans in captivity is prohibited, as well as their participation in shows. In France, three establishments have them: Parc Astérix, Planète Sauvage, Marineland.

The eight dolphins of Parc Astérix will be “transferred during the first quarter of 2021 to dolphinariums among the 27 Europeans recognized by scientific and governmental bodies, meeting the best animal welfare criteria set out by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA ) and respecting the requirements of the European Association of Aquatic Mammals (EAAM) as to the right genetic mix “, indicates the park owned by the Compagnie des Alpes group.

Dolphins that cannot be reintroduced to their natural habitat

Parc Astérix underlines that “after studying the options and in the light of our numerous exchanges with scientific experts and competent veterinarians, it appeared that no site or reintroduction program offered the required guarantees” for dolphins born in basin or living there for nearly thirty years.

“By their age, their mostly captive origin and the geographic distance from their original populations, these dolphins could not be considered as animals that could be the subject of a reintroduction program offering all the certainties as to their safety. “, continues the Parc Astérix.

For Nicolas Kremer, “this is the solution that appeared to be the best to ensure them good living conditions. Reintroduction into the natural environment is impossible for these animals raised in captivity. Marine sanctuaries are only at the stage of projects” , he told the Parisian, specifying that “50% of visitors” came to see the show with the dolphins.

Closed due to restrictions linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, the park – which welcomes more than 2 million visitors a year – has scheduled its reopening for April 3.

With AFP

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