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News Opinion Readers Respond

Aquarium's dolphins should be moved to ocean sanctuaries [Letter]

We applaud the National Aquarium in Baltimore for considering closing its dolphin exhibition and moving its eight dolphins to a seaside sanctuary to live out the rest of their lives ("National Aquarium asks for feedback on dolphins, future plans," May 17).

Over the past several decades we have learned that dolphins can swim up to a hundred miles a day and live in family-based pods. Prioritizing the quality of life of these complex creatures is forward-looking and in line with the National Aquarium's focus on conservation.

People are reexamining the practice of keeping marine mammals in captivity, as was powerfully demonstrated by the recent documentary "Blackfish," about the SeaWorld orcas. The aquarium took a step in the right direction when it eliminated its dolphin performances two years ago, and moving the dolphins to a sea pen would be a continuation of these progressive and conservation-oriented policies.

As one of Baltimore's biggest tourist attractions, the aquarium is now poised to become a national leader in compassionate education. This is a smart move for the aquarium and for Baltimore.

Tami Santelli, Gaithersburg

The writer is Maryland state director for the Humane Society of the United States.

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To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

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