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THEY'VE KILLED IRIS !!! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- On April 13th, 2003 the tragic news reached us : after a long and serious depression the dolphin Iris died in her small pool in the Zoo in Duisburg, probably around March 23th, 2003. Despite our urgent request the so-called "keepers" refused to treat her. According to our sources, it could have been a long programmed euthanasia in order to silence the living scandal that this brave dolphin was victim of. Iris was one of the thousand bottlenose dolphins living in captivity, but because of her zeal for living, her will to defend her son in the hell of the Antwerp Zoo and finally of her refusal to participate in all the shows, she has become the symbol and perhaps even the hero of the mad captivity and destructive industry. Instead of letting her die in this scandalous way it would have been very simple to bring her to a retirement lagoon. She would have quickly found enough reasons to live and to become healthy again. and perhaps even to be free again. Nothing has been gained. Iris was killed. Thousands of others await the same fate, we know today that not a single captive dolphin leaves its captivity alive. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- The responsabilities are heavy in the death of Iris. For the management of Duisburg : Mainly for economic reasons, Iris was left to her fate. She could have been taken to a beach lagoon such as Conyland or the dolphinarium in Harderwijck where she could have lived under better circumstances but this was not an option because of budgetary reasons. Iris was only 33 years of age. Even in captivity she could easily have lived another 20 years on condition that she would live in decent living circumstances. Proof is that, although exceptional, Nelly in Marineland (Florida) reached the age of 50. The German press did not even report the death of Iris. Not even the website of the zoo, apparently she is still alive. Worst still. in February 2003 we received a message from our correspondent advising us that rumours were circulating that the trainers of the Duisburg Zoo were preparing for Easter "something will be done for Iris". More he did not know what. In our na´vety we believed in a positive change but this was not so. Probably the euthanasia was being prepared. For the management of the Antwerp Zoo : In 1997 and 1998 we repeatedly notified the Antwerp Zoo of the dangers involved in transporting their last dolphins to Germany. At that time successfull rehabilitation plans were being applied. There are many examples. They were refused and, this is the climax, because for the safety of the dolphins. Once the dolphins arrived none of the Antwerp trainers who were so attached to the animals found it worthwhile to help their "dolphins". In 1999 the press assured us that the situation was absolutely "normal", regardless of the constant fighting between the two dominant male dolphins and the deep depression of Iris. Her last pregnancy resulted in a dead calf and was a clear sign of her depression. For activists : We are still waiting for plans and common consultations to build a "retreat and rehabilitation lagoon" in a confined bay where captive dolphins could sojourn to gain strength prior to being returned to their native habitats. These last years different suggestions have been made but no unanimous decisions were reached. It is, however the only acceptable solution for most of the "old" dolphins such as Iris, kept in captivity in Europe. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- Finally, we would like to add that, according to Rick O'Barry, depressions are very frequent and almost unavoidable after several years of captivity. But of course, this syndrome is kept hidden by the pleasure industry. Euthanasia is often used on old dolphins as on other animals in captivity that are no longer showable to the public and thus only costs money. This is a universal economic law which holds true for every zoo and every circus in the world. Shocked ? Not really, if we see the example of European laws that all none human animals have no conscience and that we are free to deal with them as "real estate"....even if they are endowed with memory, cultures, languages and moral intelligence such as dolphins. Please send your reactions to the Zoo of Duisburg. Thank you.