Protesters want dolphins freed at Indianapolis Zoo

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Protestors lined up outside the Indianapolis Zoo to call for the release of captive dolphins on Saturday.

The Indiana Animal Rights Alliance participated as part of the Empty the Tanks Worldwide demonstration.

Dozens of protestors asked the zoo to free their marine life and rehabilitate them before releasing them back into the wild.

“I think times are changing and we’re evolving and these species are so sentient and intelligent that they deserve better than to be exploited and doing tricks for people for entertainment,” Leslie Holding, a protestor said.

The alliance says out of 28 dolphins born at the zoo, only four have survived.

The Indianapolis Zoo released the following statement on Saturday:

The mission of the Indianapolis Zoo is to empower people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation. Our mission is at the core of everything we do. The dolphins in our care are loved, well cared for with attention to all best practices put forth by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and are here to help people understand about the importance of conservation across the globe. We have not collected dolphins from the wild in more than 25 years. The majority of our dolphins were born here or rescued. Regardless of their origins, our dolphins receive an extraordinarily high level of care. We have a full-time Ph.D. nutritionist, one of the highest ratios of veterinarians per animal in the nation and an experienced Marine Mammal staff. While we differ in opinions about dolphins in human care and how to best ensure a sustainable future for all dolphins, we recognize that we, like the demonstrators, care very much about dolphin welfare. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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