The 18 Marine Life dolphins that survived Hurricane Katrina will soon be on their way to a resort in the Bahamas. A Hattiesburg judge ruled Thursday that the dolphins could temporarily move to Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas.
Since the storm, the 18 dolphins have been cared for in Gulfport and in New Jersey and Florida. Eight of the dolphins have been living in tanks at the Gulfport Seabee Base.
Sources tell WLOX that sometime Thursday evening the dolphins at the base will leave in two tractor trailer rigs headed for Mobile. From there, they will be flown to the Bahamas. Hurricane Katrina destroyed Marine Life.
The mammals are the center of a lawsuit between the owner of Marine Animal Productions, Don Jacobs, and his former partner Moby Solangi.
"It's a sad day for the community that these animals that survived Katrina are going to a foreign land, away from their trainers and away from the public that loves [them.] Having said that, we have no problem with having them moved, but there were places here in the United States that were willing to keep them," former Marine Life President Dr. Moby Solangi said.
"We would rather see them in this country than go to a foreign land, which we don't know what they're going to be used for."
The move to Atlantis is only temporary. Judge H.C. Thomas can order the dolphins to be returned to this country at any time.
The president of the newly formed group "Save the Katrina Dolphins" says members have been calling him with reaction to the ruling.
Rusty Walker says they are sad and disappointed that the dophins are leaving, and that they are probably gone for good. Walker says his group hopes the animals are treated well and that that Bahamian government will return them to this country if the judge so orders.