Parc Asterix closes its dolphinarium, a 'victory for animal welfare' which is not really one

Parc Asterix closes its dolphinarium, a ‘victory for animal welfare’ which is not really one


Nicolas Kremer, General Manager of the famous Parc Astérix in Plailly (Oise), has just announced the closure of his dolphinarium. Cetaceans, like sea lions, will have disappeared for the reopening of the park scheduled (for the moment) on April 3.

Last September, the Minister for Ecological Transition, Barbara Pomili, announced a series of measures in favor of animal welfare. Among them: the “progressive end” of wild animals in itinerant circuits, but also the progressive prohibition of the reproduction and the introduction of new killer whales and dolphins in the dolphinariums of the country. As a reminder, France has three establishments of this kind, including one at Parc Asterix. Its director, Nicolas Kremer, finally took the lead, announcing the definitive closure of its structure.

Asked by the Parisian, Nicolas Kramer emphasizes that this decision had been recorded three years ago. Since then, discussions started with several specialists, scientists and other associations were underway to try to find the right solution for the well-being of animals. “Today the placement solution for our eight dolphins and our five sea lions is finalized,” explains the manager.

Transferred to other dolphinariums

The release of these dolphins and sea lions is unfortunately impossible, and the marine sanctuaries are only in the planning stage, all these animals will soon join other dolphinariums in Europe. “This is the solution, developed with the European Association of Aquatic Mammals, which appeared to be the best to ensure them good living conditions. We chose Europe because we know that other countries in the world do not offer the same guarantees “.

Of course, this heralded animal welfare “victory” is not really one. The Animal Law Foundation hailed on Twitter “one more step towards the end of cetacean captivity”, while considering that “the transfer to other dolphinariums” was “not satisfactory”.

In the columns of Le Parisien, Nicolas Kramer underlines for his part that his teams have “always ensured the well-being” of their animals. With this decision, he does not intend to set an example either, considering that the structures of Planète Sauvage (Loire-Atlantique) and Marineland (Alpes-Maritimes) have “a real role in the conservation, scientific knowledge of species and raising public awareness of their safeguard ”. In Parc Asterix, on the other hand, the detention of dolphins and sea lions was becoming “almost incongruous”, he explains. Also the Park turns the animal page to refocus on main activity.

It should also be recalled that Tuesday will begin at the National Assembly the examination of the draft law against animal abuse, which provides (among other measures) that the detention of cetaceans in captivity is prohibited, as well as their participation in shows.

Among the staff of the dolphinarium (about ten people), some will be reclassified internally, while others will look to other projects. Finally, the open-air amphitheater with 2,000 seats, in the center of which dolphins and sea lions operated their tours, will be kept to offer a new aquatic spectacle.