SOS Dolfijn has made the decision to permanently leave Harderwijk and to end the cooperation with Dolfinarium Harderwijk.
SOS Dolfijn represents a rescue organization for whales in need of help and is aiming to work more closely with other conservation organizations. The next months will be used to search for a location for a new (or temporary) rehabilitation centre and also to find new partners that are willing to (financially) support SOS Dolfijn in this process.
Earlier this year SOS Dolfijn already announced its desire to move to another location and work more closely with other conservation organizations. In the beginning of this year a declaration of intent was signed between SOS Dolfijn and Ecomare. Ecomare rehabilitates sick and injured seals and birds. The intention was to build a new centre for marine animals on the island of Texel but unfortunately sufficient funding for this project was not found in time. Managing director Eligius Everaarts of the SOS Dolfijn foundation believes in a great future for SOS Dolfijn: “It is our dream to be part of an educational experience-centre where stranded porpoises and dolphins can be rehabilitated. Throughout our work with these beautiful animals, who deserve our help, we can teach people the importance of protecting the environment.”
In the past, rehabilitation of stranded small cetaceans was done by the Dolfinarium in Harderwijk.
Ever since SOS Dolfijn was founded in 2004 it has been located on the terrain of the Dolfinarium.
This location has had some benefits for SOS Dolfijn but at the same time it causes the misconception that SOS Dolfijn is a division of the commercial park and not an autonomous organization. Which makes fundraising almost impossible.
SOS Dolfijn has made impressive developments over the past few years. Education and conservation have become just as important activities for the organization as the rehabilitation of stranded animals is. SOS Dolfijn wants to do even more and therefore believes that moving away from the current location and ending the cooperation with Dolfinarium Harderwijk will be necessary to fully grow to its potential and raise more financial support.
Managing director Eligius Everaarts explains: “Moving out without already having a new facility is a challenge. But at some point you have to decide to leave the old behind and take the step forward so that you will create new possibilities for the organization. It is the final step in the process we have been working on intensively ” SOS Dolfijn is hoping that this necessary decision will be supported widely.
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