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National Aquarium's dolphin question at center of animal welfare debate
National Aquarium's dolphin question at center of animal welfare debate

The big question facing Baltimore's National Aquarium — whether to keep Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in the amphitheater pool or release them to an ocean-side sanctuary — is the latest twist in the decades-long evolution of American zoos and aquatic attractions from circus-like menageries to portals into the natural environment. Much of the change is driven by emerging scientific evidence that shows the advanced intellect of marine mammals compared with species such as sharks and puffins. That has led officials at the 33-year-old Inner Harbor anchor to rethink the dolphin display as they seek to emphasize conservation. The debate resonates among scientists, activists and...

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