Dolphins ship out to Minneapolis zoo

The dolphins- Tapeko, 27; Noelani, 5; and Allison, 3- were flown to Minneapolis Sunday night. They will stay at the Minnesota Zoo while the Seven Seas dolphin arena at Brookfield is upgraded. Brookfield hopes to have them back by next spring.

"The move went just as planned. It was a comfortable experience for the dolphins because they were with people they know," said Kim Smith, vice president of animal care for the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, in a news release. "We already miss them, but they will be returning to an improved facility that contributes to their high-quality of life here at the zoo."

Brookfield began preparing the dolphins for the move three months ago. FedEx donated the flight that carried the animals and several zoo staffers- including a veterinarian and trainers.

"The dolphins have a close bond with their trainers and are comforted by them even when their surroundings are different," Smith said.

Tapeko, Noelani and Allison will be kept separate from Minnesota Zoo's three females- April, 42; Allie, 22; and Spree, 7; and one male, Semo, 45. To find out how the dolphins are settling in, the public can check out

The renovations at Brookfield will be completed as the zoo celebrates 50 years with dolphins.

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