According to to the IMMS website
BETWEEN 1956-1989 Moby Solangi captured over 200 dolphins in the Mississippi Sound. These animals where sold to Sea Circuses, amusement parks, the US Navy, and other dolphin facilities around the country. Solangi also rented out dolphins to Zoo's around the country. Zoo's that rented out these dolphins would pay a set price every month and the package would include a dolphin and sea lion show, food, supplies, veterinarian supervision, and a trainer. If a animal got sick or died, Marine Animal Productions (MAP), the company which Moby Solangi Co-founded in 1965, would simply send a replacement animal. The Oklahoma City Zoo was one of the many zoo's that rented dolphins from MAP. The zoo closed its Dolphin Exhibit after they had many dolphins die and activist, including Ric O'Barry, confronted the zoo about the deaths and brought it to public attention, in 1991. At that point all but 2 of the dolphins MAP had been renting out (Teri and Sandi) had died. Teri and Sandi were sent back to Marine Life, Solangi's facility. (Note. I have found no record Teri and Sandi being moved to Marine Life, other then articles claiming this. I have also not found anything on where Teri or Sandi are now, or when they died. I do know that they were not at Marine Life in 2005 when Katrina hit.)
"Change is always good. We all like to go places. You keep them in the same house it gets old. By moving them around, mixing them around, changing them to where they are compatible, I think it is very healthy for them. That's what we call enrichment.'' ~Moby Solangi
WHILE capturing these animals, there are accounts of many dolphins dying due to stress or drowning. On one occasion a former employee of Solangi claimed that about 20 dolphins died.On another capturing expedition another former employee says that a mother and calf were caught in the nets. Both were cut free but the young calf died due to stress (You can read more about this in the link below "Loving Dolphins to Death"). Lack of laws and shady record keeping makes it imposable to know just how many dolphins MAP took from the Mississippi sound, and how many died while doing so.
"Every dolphin catcher in the business risks losing a few in accidental drownings, or to capture shock. It goes with the territory." ~ Moby Solangi
MOBY Solangi co-owned and was the president of Marine Life Oceanarium , in Gulfport Ms.Opened in 1956, the facility housed dolphins (which were part of those Moby himself captured), Sea Lions, a harbor seal, 25 birds, and a reef tank.
(NOTE: Eric worked for Marine Life Oceanarium from 2002 to 2003, he has personal knowledge of the going ons at the park and of Moby Solangi. He was a diver in the reef tank and also kept the dolphin tanks clean. He had no idea at the time that Solangi or Marine Life was connected to dolphin captures or trafficking. This is a very sad and personal topic for him. He will be writing his own post at a later date of his accounts of Marine Life, for now, we are sticking with proven facts.)
THERE where 3 dolphin tanks at Marine Life. An outdoor tank in which a swim with me program was held. A tank in which a dolphin and sea lion show was held and the main tank in which the main dolphin show was preformed. There was no other holding tanks and the dolphins stayed in their respective tanks at all times. The dolphins in the show tanks, each preformed 5 shows a day in the summer. In 2005 hurricane Katrina, a Cat 5, made its way towards the Mississippi Gulf coast. The day before the storm was due to hit trainers started relocating some of its animals. 8 Sea Lions were set to a trainers home, 6 of the 14 dolphins were moved inland to saltwater pools of hotels, the birds were sent by truck to Florida. The remaining animals were left to ride the storm out. During the storm Gulfport endured 120mph winds for 6 hours.
|Marine Life after Katrina|
THERE is now plans to open a new Oceanairum in Mississippi. Ground breaking was scheduled to happen in Dec 2010 with the park opening in 2012, but work has not started as of yet, on the facility. Solangi has a $10 million dollar federal grant to create the complex, which will feature dolphin shows, aquarium exhibits and bird sanctuaries. Reportedly the grant requires that the facility is to be built by the end of 2011. According to an IMMS news release, The facility is claimed to be a one-of-a-kind marine education center, which will provide both students and the general public an opportunity to learn about nature and marine mammals. The Total cost of the new facility is supposed to be around $75 Million when finished.
Read Part 2 Moby Solangi Part ll Katrina and the dolphins
Read Part 3 Moby Solangi Part III IMMS
To read more info on Moby Solangi please visit the following sites:
Tribes article by Ric O'Barry
Dolphins of War
Loving Dolphins To Death This is a MUST READ! A 16 page article, it starts talking about Moby Solangi on page 3, under Kelly Williams story.
History Of Risk Surrounds Captures another must read! Solangi starts on page 3
Ceta-Base- Data base of marine animals in captivity. Not a complete Data base, but a lot of info. Dolphins listed under Marine Animal Production and IMMS.