Minnesota Zoo will end its dolphin exhibit via StarTribune

One of the Minnesota Zoo’s most popular species will no longer be on exhibit.

The two remaining dolphins are moving within a few months and will not be replaced, the zoo in Apple Valley announced Monday.

Zoo Director Lee Ehmke said Semo and Allie must be relocated because extensive repairs are needed to the 15-year-old Discovery Bay building and the dolphin tank, where the two are housed.

The refurbishment, combined with the species’ low availability, means there will be no dolphins at the Minnesota Zoo “in the foreseeable future,” Ehmke said.

Ehmke acknowledges that losing dolphins as an attraction will be disappointing to visitors. Except for a few brief interruptions, dolphins have been exhibited at the zoo since it opened in 1978.

"People love dolphins," he said. "It has consistently been one of the favorite animals. They have a lot of charisma, and people find them fascinating and love them, as do we."