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Turkish captive dolphin site protested

March 19, 2010 at 1:37 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, March 19 (UPI) -- A planned captive dolphin facility in southwestern Turkey is meeting with online resistance from animal rights activists, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The newspaper reported the construction in Hisaronu last week of a park with a 2,700 square-foot tank for two dolphins, and a Facebook Web site sprang up to protest it.

More than 2,000 people registered their opposition to another dolphin park in Turkey, which the World Wildlife Fund says has 12 dolphin parks with about 50 of the mammals and operating at an annual profit of $35 million.

Capturing wild dolphins is illegal in Turkey, and most of the dolphins in the country were imported from Japan, the newspaper said.

Oludeniz Mayor Keramettin Yılmaz dismissed protesters' claims that keeping dolphins captive is cruel.

"I will say if we go with this mentality, then we will have to close all zoos that keep wild animals and free all caged birds or dogs that are kept in a house," he told the newspaper.

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