APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - The good news is that one of the Minnesota Zoo's most popular exhibits is getting a facelift.
The bad, is that it means saying farewell to some old friends.
Governor Dayton recently signed a bill that provides $4 million for the zoo to renovate Discovery Bay, which houses the popular dolphin exhibit.The pools in the buildingare in need of significant repairs to correct damage caused over time by salt water in the pools and atmosphere.
The zoo is currently investigating and assessing specific maintenance and repair needs, and plans are to have an action plan and schedule ready by early summer.
One thing that is certain is that the pools will need to be drained during the renovation, meaning that dolphins Allie and Semo will permanently relocated at other accredited facilities so they can join and become members of other dolphin groups.
Moreover, zoo officials add thatthe tank won't house dolphins once the upgrades are done as dolphins aren't readily available and that the zoo has other pressing development projects.
They are considering other aquatic animals that could be housed at the exhibit.
Five dolphins have died at the bottlenose exhibit since 2006.
The zoo plans on announcing when the dolphins are scheduled to move so zoo guests can come to say goodbye before they leave.