Does anyone else recognize the irony of a wall of stones separating the dolphins from their home of the open ocean? They are just mere feet away from freedom…
If they were truly happy being captive and pulling swimmers around, there would be no need for the wall of stones.
If they were truly happy being captive interacting with the paying public, there would be no need for food reinforcements.
If the dolphins were truly happy, there would be no need for the trainers to give them stimulation and activity as the article states.
The dolphins stay there because they’ve been traumatized by the capture, being transported and subjected to long periods of gravity and the withholding of food, all of which are concepts completely foreign to their very nature. The fact is that the dolphins are bored and stressed because they are captive, which leads to illnesses, sometimes life-threatening, and maladaptive and aberrant behaviors, both of which can be dangerous to the paying swimmers and to the dolphins.
These facts that I allude to are well documented in the Marine Mammal Inventory Report that is readily available to anyone for the asking from APHIS in the US. Ulcers, aggressive behaviors toward other dolphins resulting in injuries, head banging on the side of the tank are but a few of the aberrant behaviors found only in captive dolphins. See www.dolphinproject.org for a comprehensive list.
Captivity violates a dolphin’s most fundamental requirements, regardless of whether the dolphin was wild-caught or captive born and this is true whether the dolphin is in a tank or a natural lagoon.
If the public stopped buying the tickets, the captive facilities would close.