Aquarium officials say rehabilitation and marine rescues, not entertainment, will be the focus of the new
"We don't rescue them so we can have them to show to guests," aquarium CEO
The aquarium cut the price tag for the new centre by nearly
Both Winter and Hope live at the aquarium, and their new tank will be three times the size of their current home. Guests will be able to view staff working with the dolphins and rescued sea turtles from platforms and walkways.
"We're not about the big shows and stuff like that," Yates said. "The whole essence of this thing is no matter what animals we have or don't have, the experience of getting behind the scenes of our work, that's going to be the draw long-term."
Some aquariums are emphasizing their conservation and rehabilitation facilities instead of their animal performances in the wake of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which was critical of
The National Aquarium in
Yates said the
"We're not trying to win a popularity contest. We're just trying to do what we do and do our mission," he said.
"The whole mission is rescue, rehabilitation and release," actor
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