Immediate health check demand for the two bottlenose dolphins tranferred from Kaş to Kemer Dolphinarium

Subject: Health check demand by sea mammals specialist vets for the two bottlenose dolphins transferred from Kaş Dolphin Park to Kemer Moonlight Dolphinarium

To the attention of the:

Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock

Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs

Kaş District Governorate

Kaş Municipality

Antalya Governorate

Other relevant departments:

I demand an immediate health check by sea mammals specialist vets for the two bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that were transferred from Antalya-Kaş Dolphin Park to Antalya-Kemer Moonlight Dolphinarium (Ayışığı Yunus Parkı) on the 24-25th April 2013.

Kaş dolphin park’s door was sealed on the 28th May 2012 after accepting customers twice without a working permission The park was boycotted for the last two years, both locally and internationally through official letters and petition campaigns led by NGOs and prominent artists as supporters to the cause. In 2011, the park had also been subject to several crime complaints.

The dolphins are now in an inland pool facility in Kemer which is a far worse environment for them than the rusted sea pens in Kaş. Dolphins are extremely unhealthy and cachectic (extremely thin/weak), have their teeth rasped or extracted, and have deep wounds on their bodies and open wounds on the tips of their lower jaw, which you can see in the attached pictures taken at the beginning of April 2013.

Legal and scientific grounds of my demand, which is covered by national laws and international conventions that Turkey is a part of, are to your attention below.

Since I’m interested in the anti-captivity movement and developments about the dolphin parks, I am aware that there are sea mammal/dolphin specialist vets in Turkey. Therefore, I demand a complete health check by a specialist dolphin vet for the two unhealthy dolphins, who are completely different from land animals regarding their habitat, biological features and diseases. I ask a specialist to be appointed by the ministry; the health check cannot be done by a vet specialsed on dogs/cats or cattles. I also demand consultancy by academics focusing on relevant topics at relevant departments of universities running academic studies about dolphins.

As seen in the legal and scientific grounds below, bottlenose dolphins should be taken care of by the Department of Species Protection at the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs because as wild animals, they were known to be captured alive from Turkish waters with special permission taken in 2006-2007. They are also work item of Department of Animal Protection with national laws and international conventions because they are kept in bad and unnatural conditions.

In this regard, I demand that my letter is evaluated with the right to information act (No: 4982), and the right to write letter of application (No: 3071), and I demand to receive the health report and result via e-mail in the period of the given legal period.

Kindly submitted for necessary action.


Name & Surname:

TC / ID number:

Town, City:


  1. Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock
  2. Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs
  3. Ministry of Health
  4. Kaş District Governorate
  5. Kaş Municipality
  6. Antalya Governorate

Attachment 1: Pictures of the two bottlenose dolphins taken just before they were transferred from Kaş dolphin park to Kemer.

Legal Grounds:

  • IUCN Red List: Bottlenose Dolphins – Mediterranean population is Vulnerable & Black Sea population is Endangered.
  • Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats: Bottlenose Dolphins under strict protection in Annex II and article 6.
  • 5199 Turkish Animal Protection Law: Articles 4, 8, 14 and 24.
  • Regulation of Swimming Pools (27866): Article 8 prohibits humans and animals to swim in the same pool.

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