Although Mexico City has no outlet to the sea, it has long been home to marine mammals such as dolphins and sea lions. Until this month, parks like Six Flags offered shows and dolphin swim, but this will now be banned in the capital by two law reforms passed in the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District.
The amendment to the laws prohibits marine mammals from being used in shows or therapies with dolphins because of the proposal of Xavier López Adame, deputy of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico, who said Six Flags should transfer four dolphins and five sea lions to other facilities in Quintana Roo and Baja California. “Dolphins are not owned by the company because they are wild animals, they are not like cows, permits are required to have such a species. It is the responsibility of the company to take care of it “, he said.
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According to the deputy, the dolphins of Six Flags belongs to the company Dolphin Discovery, which will have to transfer these nine animals to other dolphinariums. This is the only company that has the marine animals in Mexico City, so it will seek a legal exit, according to a company representative. “Our habitat in Mexico City has all the permits and authorizations that are required, so for the moment we have no position on what the assembly approved, our lawyers are evaluating the situation,” Dolphin Discovery reps stated via email.
Dolphin Discovery has 21 dolphinariums in various states of Mexico, including Quintana Roo and Baja California, where lawmakers considered optimal transfer of animals. “They have much better facilities for the simple reason that here […] in Quintana Roo and Baja California are in sea water pens,” Lopez says. The decision of the transfer, however, will be of the company under the supervision of the Federal Office of Environmental Protection in a period of three to six months.
Last November, Profepa toured the Atlantis Water Park, closed to the public for a decade, but still with marine mammals under its care. Although they found that the facilities were suitable for three sea lions that lived there, they were transferred to Dolphin Discovery in Puerto Vallarta in February of this year. According to the communication of the unit , the water park handed them over to the authorities voluntarily.