Animal rights activists are applauding the National Aquarium for deciding to relocate its dolphins to a seaside sanctuary.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals criticized SeaWorld earlier this year for not releasing its orcas from their tanks among other changes at its theme parks.
In a statement Tuesday, PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said the Baltimore aquarium could prompt other institutions to retire their dolphins and orcas to sanctuaries as well. She said the aquarium recognized "the needs of intelligent, far-ranging dolphins" aren't met in captivity.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums says each of its members makes decisions "appropriate for the animals" in its care. In a statement, Interim President and CEO Kris Vehrs says the National Aquarium will work with state and federal agencies as it moves forward with the dolphins' relocation.