Dolphins at Shedd Aquarium

At Shedd Aquarium, our mission is to spark compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world. It’s a mission we take very seriously, and for 86 years, the animals in our care have had an impact on tens of millions of people as ambassadors for their species.

Shedd’s state-of-the-art facilities and animal care experts are valuable resources for our conservation partners in Chicago and around the world. On-site research provides valuable information about animal biology and behavior that helps support healthy populations in the wild. Shedd’s dolphins even assisted wildlife biologists in learning about the species’ foraging patterns; this provided the information needed for the government to enact new laws that protected wild populations.

Three out of the four female Pacific white-sided dolphins currently at Shedd are more than 20 years old and have been in our care since they arrived in the early 1990s. The three males were all born here, both Sagu (2012) and Makoa (2015) to mother, Piquet, and most recently in April 2016, a dolphin calf was born to first-time mother, Katrl.

Find out more about how Shedd protects these beautiful animals for future generations.

Your support
Nearly 2 million people visit Shedd every year, but few of them will ever have the opportunity to make direct connections with dolphins in the wild. Organizations like Shedd Aquarium provide this first-hand experience and inspire visitors to support the conservation of these magnificent animals and their habitats. Learn more about how you can support Shedd.

Shedd's stance on dolphin drive fisheries

As animal advocates, Shedd Aquarium remains steadfast in our opposition to the inhumane slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. None of our dolphins have come from the Japanese dolphin drive hunt, and we do not support, fund, or acquire animals from these drives. We are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which prohibits member institutions from acquiring animals from these drives. The AZA has urged U.S. government and representative agencies to proactively work with the government of Japan to bring an end to this practice. Additionally, we applaud the decision by the members of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) to prohibit their members from acquiring dolphins from Taiji drive fisheries.

If you share our concerns and want to help stop the slaughter of dolphins and whales in Japan, please write to the Prime Minister of Japan and email the Japanese ambassador in Washington, D.C.