11 Sep 2008

Marineland's future in doubt after last dolphin dies

9:09 pm on 11 September 2008

The death of the last dolphin at Marineland in Napier has been described as the end of an era for Hawke's Bay, and could spell the end for one of the region's major tourist attractions.

Kelly, who was 38 years old, died on Wednesday night after a short illness.

Her former pool mate Shona died in 2006, at the age of 36.

Since then Kelly had continued her daily performance at Marineland on her own.

Marineland manager Gary MacDonald says over the past few days Kelly had been lethargic and eating very little.

Napier mayor Barbara Arnott says it is the end of an era for the people of Napier.

Ms Arnott says Marineland will remain closed to the public until the city council decides what its future holds. Options could include re-developing Marineland, or closing it completely.