ABOUT THE SANCTUARY

Defining the Dolphin Sanctuary

A place, as well as a set of principles, and corresponding practices

A new option for dolphins in human care.

An outdoor facility, in natural sea water, with a flexible habitat configuration that can be customized to meet individual dolphin needs.

A center for applied science that advances knowledge and conservation.

A facility with independent and sustainable funding for dolphin care.
We are “dolphin first” — the individual needs of the dolphins take priority over those of all others, including the public, scientists and donors.

We value affording the highest level of choice and control to the dolphins.

We believe in fostering a collaborative learning environment among all our stakeholders, including the dolphins.

We value the development of techniques and technologies that advance our ability to study dolphins in the wild.
Provide customized, individual care for each dolphin.

Enable and participate in studies that benefit dolphins in the wild and in human care.

Open to accommodating dolphins from other facilities.

Prevent pregnancy while allowing natural behaviors among the dolphins.

Share our work with others through on-site and remote education opportunities.
Provide customized, individual care for each dolphin.

Enable and participate in studies that benefit dolphins in the wild and in human care.

Open to accommodating dolphins from other facilities.

Prevent pregnancy while allowing natural behaviors among the dolphins. 

Share our work with others through on-site and remote education opportunities.

Sanctuary Criteria

Designing a place to thrive

Tropical Climate

The dolphins will live in natural seawater in a tropical or sub-tropical location, mirroring the habitat in which wild dolphins thrive.

Dynamic Habitat

The design will be flexible to allow for different spatial configurations to keep the dolphins engaged and able to form social groupings that suit them.

Natural Stimuli

The setting will provide the dolphins with opportunities to express natural behaviors while exposing them to stimuli, such as fish and marine plants.

Customized Care

Marine mammal experts will provide full-time, individual care to the dolphins, supported by a full-time veterinarian and on-site clinical care facilities.

Continued Collaboration

We hope to foster a collaborative learning environment that will develop techniques and technologies that advance our ability to study dolphins in the wild.

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The National Aquarium is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.