APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - They're not residing in the Gopher state any longer but fans of the former Minnesota Zoo dolphins can take solace in the fact they've found new homes.
Semo and Allie are settling in to their new digs after being shipped to California and Illinois, respectively.
Semo, at age 48, is currently the oldest male bottlenose dolphin in human care. He now resides at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in California. Zoo staff is monitoring him after the long trip from Minnesota; eventually he will join the zoo's other dolphins and may, in fact, become a father again as his genetic line is not represented at Six Flags.
Allie, a 25-year-old female, will now call the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois home. She previously lived at the zoo from 1995 to 2000. Currently, she is off exhibit with Tapeko and
Tapeko's daughter, Allison, 6, until she gets reacclimated to her home and trainers. Allie will then join Brookfield Zoo's current dolphin group - Spree, 10; Noelani, 8; Chinook, 29; and Tatem, 8 -and be part of the zoo's dolphin presentations.
The Minnesota Zoo had to relocate its dolphins in order to allow for major repairs to its 15-year-old Discovery Bay building after years of salt water damage.
"We will miss Allie and Semo, but are excited to see them begin their new journeys," said Minnesota
Zoo Marine Mammal Supervisor Diane Fusco in a written statement. "They are being provided with opportunities to develop new social relationships with other dolphins, and we know they'll be kept busy. The staff members at
both locations are fantastic, and we know Allie and Semo will be well taken care of."
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