Animal park Connyland is considering importing dolphin semen in order to circumvent a proposed prohibition on importing new animals.

"/> Animal park Connyland is considering importing dolphin semen in order to circumvent a proposed prohibition on importing new animals.

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DOLPHINS

Connyland eyes dolphin semen import

Animal park Connyland is considering importing dolphin semen in order to circumvent a proposed prohibition on importing new animals.

Connyland eyes dolphin semen import
Connyland (File)

Following the mysterious deaths last year of two Connyland dolphins, which caused consternation among animal lovers and activists and triggered accusations of ill-treatment, a new ban on the importation of dolphins is being considered.

Now the beleaguered park is considering importing semen instead in an attempt to breed dolphins from within the park as a way of getting around the ban, online news site 20 Minuten reported.

“Importing dolphin semen would circumvent the spirit of the new law, under which the holding of dolphins in Switzerland is impossible,” said Green Liberal Councillor, Isabelle Chevalley.

The National Council will decide on Tuesday whether to impose a ban on the importation of dolphins and whales. The lower house, the Council of States, has already sanctioned the proposed ban.

Activists say that this is not enough, and are calling for the ban to be extended to include semen to prevent breeding from within the park. Currently there is only one female at the park.

“We can’t let the last female be used as a breeding machine,” ProWal activist Andreas Morlock, told the website.

Chevalley believes the importation of dolphin semen would be “nothing but madness”.

“A dolphin in a dolphinarium is like a tiger turning around in its cage,” Chevalley said.

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DOLPHINS

Conny-Land head says workers killed dolphins

The director of Conny-Land in the canton of Thurgau now believes that two former employees killed two dolphins at the Lipperswil zoo and amusement park in a bid to shut down the marine attraction.

Conny-Land head says workers killed dolphins
Dolphins at Conny-Land's lagoon (Photo: Conny-Land)

Roby Gasser told the Nordwestschweiz publication that the deaths of the marine mammals in November 2011 were not accidental.

Conflicting reports followed the death of the dolphins, called Shadow and Chelmers, which coincided with a rave party for thousands of clubbers that was held on land rented from Conny-Land.

A toxicology report leaked in May indicated the dolphins were likely killed by a heroin substitute.

They died within five days of each other after a long period.

Gasser said that rather than an incident connected to the party, he believes the dolphins were deliberately killed by the former employees, who worked as animal keepers.

“These people have changed camp,” he told Nordwestschweiz.

“They now work for German animal protection organizations.”

Gasser believes they are the only ones who would have known what food the dolphins liked.

He said the dolphins that died were male and were particularly targeted because of their genders.

“The Swiss law for the protection of animals no longer allows us to import this kind of species,” Gasser said.

“And the females cannot reproduce without males.”

Prosecutors were initially considering negligence charges in the dolphin deaths because they believed antibiotics given by zoo vets were to blame.

But later tests by a Saint Gallen forensic institute showed traces of Buprenorphin, a heroin substitute, in the mammals’ urine.

Such an opiate may have caused the dolphins breathing difficulties.

Justice authorities in Kreuzlingen are declining to comment on Gasser’s views.

Conny-Land continues to offer a dolphin attraction using an artificial lagoon consisting of an 81-metre long basin, 35 metres wide and six metres deep, which the operator says cost more than 1.5 million francs.

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