Ukraine, dolphins fleeing war entertain children in Romania

Despite language barriers, at the Constance dolphinarium on the Black Sea, Romanian and Ukrainian trainers work closely together with a group of “war refugee” dolphins and sea lions (SKY TG24 SPECIAL). Speaking, somehow, the same language. The story, as told by the Reuters agency, comes directly from the structure of the port city in south-eastern Romania.

Four dolphins and three sea lions from Kharkiv

Last year, the dolphinarium housed four dolphins and three sea lions along with their handlers fleeing shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. “Now we have more colleagues… Ukrainian colleagues and dolphins,” said Romanian trainer Mona Mandrescu. “We get along very well, we kind of speak the same language. And that’s the best thing that can happen to our dolphins.” In fact, Romania is one of the fourteen states of the European Union that host dolphinariums and captive marine animals. The Constance dolphinarium, in particular, has been home to the female dolphins Ni Ni and Chen Chen since 2010. In Kharkiv, however, the local dolphinarium wanted to move its dolphins and sea lions as soon as the shelling began last February. The dolphins Kiki, Maya, Marusia and Veterok and the sea lions Alex, Mary and Zosya were soon transferred to Odessa, where they waited two months for the Romanian and Ukrainian authorities to complete the various paperwork necessary to bring them to the European Union . The animals arrived in Konstanz in early May last year and were quarantined for a month before being joined by the two dolphins already in the facility.

A beautiful family”

At the beginning it was not an easy experience, said the Ukrainian foreman, Elena Komogorova. “But now we’re all very good friends,” she said. The animals, by the way, began performing together in late June, swimming with handlers and jumping through hoops. Sea lions, on the other hand, have no difficulty in interacting with the public who visit the facility. “We want them to stay with us as long as possible,” said dolphinarium manager Iulian Calin. “They are hard working people and dolphins and we want them to stay with us because we make a really nice family.”