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National Aquarium In Baltimore Considers Closing Its Dolphin Discovery Exhibit

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Jessica Kartalija 3 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the aquarium celebrates its 33rd year in Charm City, the future of one of the most popular exhibits at the National Aquarium in Baltimore is up in the air.

Jessica Kartalija explains.

When they visit the National Aquarium, it’s one of the first places people go. Now the aquarium is considering whether to keep the dolphin exhibit afloat.

“Our dolphins are doing great here at the National Aquarium. That said, they have been here for 23 years. Their facility is going to need a complete makeover in the years to come and we want to make sure what we do is right both for the dolphins and for the guests that we serve,” said Aquarium CEO John Racanelli.

The aquarium did away with their dolphin show two years ago, but still allows visitors to spend time watching the animals swim.

The aquarium is looking at options to provide the best living environment for the dolphins, which may lead to the creation of a dolphin sanctuary.

“I almost think I would like that better than this. This is more of like a show type of deal, where the other one is more you get to be more in their environment,” one visitor at the aquarium said.

“We’ve been here 33 years, we’ve had 50 million people come through these halls. It’s time to look at the next 33 and decide what is important and relevant for aquariums in the future. That’s what this is all about,” said Racanelli.

It’s all part of what the aquarium is calling its blueprint. The nonprofit is looking at putting a wetland between Pier 3 and Pier 4. They’re also considering what to do about the Washington, D.C. location that recently closed.

If the dolphin exhibit were to be moved, aquarium officials tell WJZ the area would be used for some other type of exhibit. There is no word on if or when that will happen.

Once decisions regarding the blueprint are made, expect to see changes to the aquarium over the next decade.

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