Two dolphins were found dead following a rave at Connyland. The Swiss marine park had initially been accused of killing Shadow and Chelmers by allowing a deafening two-day rave to be held just a few yards from the dolphins' pool. Campaigners had warned that the dolphins could be affected by holding the event so close to the pool, yet the authorities went ahead with the rave. Animal activists from ProWal and The Whale and Dolphin Protection Society recorded noise levels of over 100 decibels outside the park, well within earshot of the dolphins. According to Andreas Morlok from Prowal, this is comparable with that of a pneumatic drill on top volume. It has now been suggested that the dolphins may have been drugged and poisoned.
The official death rate at the Connyland dolphinarium, and its associated travelling dolphin shows is unknown. In the summer of 2000 two calves died soon after birth. Controversy over conditions at Connyland resurfaced after the death of fourteen-year-old Gecko, prompting calls for the park to be closed. Connyland was accused of violations against the Swiss Animal Welfare Act due to strong evidence documenting cruelty to the displayed marine mammals. As of 2003, Connyland had owned at least 36 dolphins, 24 had either been confirmed dead or their fate unknown. In 2010, charges were pressed against Connyland for an alleged serious violation of the Animal Protection Act. That case is still pending. Shadow and Chelmers are the seventh and eight dolphins to die in Connyland in the past three years.
The Connyland dolphinarium in Lipperswil is the only remaining dolphinarium in Switzerland. Please ask for the closure of this dolphinarium!
- Thurgau Kantonale Verwaltung
Dr. Paul Witzig
Dr. Kaspar Schläpfer
- Switzerland Tourism
- Wäldi municipality
I am contacting you regarding the recent death of a pair of dolphins named Shadow and Chelmers at Connyland in Lipperswil, following the techno-event held on 29-30/10/11. Prior to the event, campaigners had warned that the loud noise levels could cause distress to the cetaceans. Although the Veterinary Office had claimed that the noise would not disturb the dolphins, activists from ProWal and The Whale and Dolphin Protection Society recorded noise levels of over 100 decibels outside the park. The extreme noise levels from the two day techno party may have severely affected the immune system of the dolphins. A leaked toxicology report has now suggested that the dolphins might have died as a result of a party-goer's heroin substitute. It is unacceptable that the safety and well-being of the animals was sacrificed in favour of profits.
The death rate of dolphins at Connyland is staggering and the living conditions appalling. Connyland has on several occasions been accused of cruelty to marine mammals. In the summer of 2000 two calves died soon after birth. Shortly after, Gecko died of pneumonia. Beobachter had reported various violations against the Swiss Animal Welfare Act by Connyland and ASMS had issued a denunciation against Connyland because of the strong evidence documenting cruelty to the displayed marine mammals. In 2010, charges were pressed against Connyland for serious violations of the Animal Protection Act. The situation has not improved over the years. Shadow and Chelmers are the seventh and eight dolphins to have died within the last three years.
Putting aside Connyland's clear disregard for the welfare of the animals, dolphinariums are inherently cruel. Dolphins are highly intelligent, social animals who suffer in captivity. In the wild they travel many tens of kilometers a day. In captivity they are forced to live in cramped, noisy and chemically-treated environments that cannot possibly meet their mental, physical and social needs. A dolphinarium cannot replace the marine habitat. Confinement can seriously compromise their welfare and survival. The chemically treated water can cause ulcers and skin lesions. Water filtration leads to noise pollution. Smooth concrete walls inhibit their natural acoustic abilities. These animals suffer from stress and depression, enforced idleness, unusual noises, strange odours, an artificial diet, breeding problems and ultimately a reduced life expectancy.
No more mammals should have to suffer or die at this facility. I ask for an immediate closure of Connyland!
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