SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - There is a massive aquarium complex going up near Scottsdale, and it's the center of controversy as animal rights groups are up in arms over a planned exhibit that would let people swim with dolphins.
The plans call for a million gallon so-called Dolphinarium going in right next to the Odysea Aquarium, which is still under construction.
Activists are outraged that part of the complex which is scheduled to open in June, will include something called Dolphinaris, a company based out of Mexico that lets people swim with dolphins.
The company has plans to bring eight dolphins into Arizona from their other Dolphinaris locations.
On Monday the head of the Odysea Aquarium, which has gone on record saying they won't have any dolphins or whales, says they don't have anything to do with the Dolphinaris exhibit. Animal rights activists say they don't believe him, and say it was all kept quiet until an article in a Mexican tourism magazine in January.
"We didn't find out about it until we learned about it in the Mexican media, and then we started to connect the dots and investigate a little bit further, and we found out there was indeed a captive dolphin coming to the desert of Arizona, and we couldn't believe it had flown under the radar for so long," said Courtney Vail.
The activists say they are planning petitions and protests to have their voices heard, and raise awareness to keep more captive dolphin exhibits from opening.
Both the Odysea Aquarium and Dolphinaris did not respond to FOX 10's request for a comment.