Brean Down Dolphinarium - 1974


Brean Down Dolphinarium was a seasonal facility of 'in ground' breeze block construction and plastic liner.

A Review of Dolphinaria states:

Dolphins: leased from owners/trainers Mr C. Riggs and Miss L. Hradek, Margate. Open: summer 1974. Two dolphins from Margate arrived on 11.7.74 and returned 21.9.74. It is alleged that the animals were removed by the owners/trainers after a dispute over the standard of care and facilities.


Aquatic Mammal Enterprises was a dolphin supply and training company based in Key Largo, Florida, USA. It was operated by Charlie and Leigh Riggs. Riggs was former Vietnam veteran and pilot who became in involved in dolphin capture operation due to his flying skills. In 1973 he supplied the dolphins for the Mike Nichol's film 'The Day of the Dolphin'. In 1974 the company came to the UK with 4 bottle-nosed dolphins: 'Max'. 'Leigh', 'Little Charlie' and 'Peewee'. The animals were housed initially at the Margate dolphinarium but spent the summer season performing at Cleethorpes Zoo, Sandown Dolphinarium and Brean Down Dolphinarium. Riggs and all of the dolphins return to the US in 1975.

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