Animalia awarded the not so lucrative 2014 Anti Animalia prize to Tampere for its unwillingness to look into the possibility of closing down the Sarkanniemi dolphinarium. Animalia has been handing out the dubious award since 1987; Tampere also claimed the title in 1999 for the same reason.
In September, following a vote, Tampere’s city council overturned a motion which wanted to look into the option of shutting the facility down.
Salla Tuomivaaram chief executive of Animalia, said Sarkanniemi dolphinarium’s future has been discussed, but it was very unfortunate the council would not even look into the possibility of closing it down. She noted that the political talks on the issue were “distasteful”, which she described as sad.
The dolphinarium’s future was the subject of a heated debate over the past 12 months as many voiced their views on dolphins being kept in captivity. Then in August, 35-year-old Nasi, an old bottled-nose dolphin at the facility died after falling victim to a chronic liver complaint.
However, while Environmental Minister Ville Niinisto agreed that keeping dolphins in such facilities was problematic, he felt it was an issue for the local government, not the central government, to deal with.