.in a way I`m happy I did it cause it opened my eyes for this brutal industry.
I always had the opinion that no wild animal should be held in captivity. But it wasn`t really brought to my attention how the conditions are for dolphins and whales in captivity, basically because I never went myself and it somehow didn`t catch my attention for one reason or another. With a very sceptical mind I decided to join for an excursion to swim with dolphins in Jamaica.
The Dolphin Cave where we went, is more or less an artificial lagoon with fresh seawater coming in from the big waves smashing over the stones that seperate the lagoon from the open sea. The first impression was that it didn`t look that bad. At least it wasn`t just a big tank.
Our dolphins name was Jazz. I have to agree that it was very fascinating seeing these animals so close, to touch them and see how incredibly intelligent they are. And I completely understand why people want to come there and by that also why dolphins are being held in captivity. They are amazing animals. And you completely forget that this is an extremely unnatural situation, you get sucked into the excitement of the fascinating creatures that they are. And the close up experience with Jazz was very special and exciting. But why should dolphins live their lifes in capticity so we can feel excited about meeting them? And worse – make money of it.
All of that made me feel terrible for Jazz and all the other dolphins. Sure they seemed healthy and I guess happy from what I (with no knowledge at that point) could see, but they should be out in the open sea with their families and swim up to 100 miles a day and be able to behave naturally. Captive whales and dolphins have been trained to perform tricks for food instead of behaving naturally. They should not be held in a tank or lagoon so we – the stupid humans – can pet them!! Dolphins aren`t pets.
Although I knew this before, it became so clear to me and I felt so sorry for Jazz. And I felt stupid for coming there, for supporting the industry!
There are many fantastic opportunities to see whales and dolphins in the wild both from land and with a responsible boat operator, we should end the brutal captivity and keep whales and dolphins wild as they are. If you love dolphins – don`t buy the ticket!!! You wont be able to enjoy it in the end. Instead try to see them out in the wild – in their home.
Dolphins in captivity have become a huge business. From aquarioum shows to dolphins kept in mega amusement parks, swim-with programs in harbors, in casinos and even shopping malls!!!
People love dolphins, but they often suffer a failure of empathy and imagination. They do not make the connection that to bring a dolphin into these preposterously unnatural circumstances requires that dolphins be ripped from their natural environment, kidnapped from their families and pod mates, held in nets, carried in trucks, hoisted into planes and flown to distant locations. Many die in the process. Those that survive are condemned to a life in a cement tank, listening to the interminable hum of the filtration system and the screams of the audience. A concrete tank can never replace their ocean home. Many of these unfortunate animals do not survive.
Captive dolphins are forced to swim in endless circles in artificial habitats, interact with unfamiliar dolphins and other species and perform behaviors that are unnatural and in some cases painful. Captive dolphins also face exposure to human infection, bacteria and chemicals and suffer from stress-related illnesses.
Capture of whales and dolphins from the wild is brutal. Entire pods may be targeted and many individuals killed or injured. Only the young and fit are taken. These are the future generations for already vulnerable wild populations and their loss has a hugely negative impact on group dynamics.
We have no right to put these amazing creatures in captivity. Captive whale and dolphin shows are not education, or conservation. Stress and disturbing behaviour is common amongst dolphins in captivity.
.captivity is all about making money.
Please don`t support this industry. Read about it, at least get the knowledge before you decide to go. I know that I went and by that I supported the industry, but at least I try to speak up and spread the word now! They are trained to entertain and seem happy – but no wild animal should be locked up for our entertainment. If we want to see them we have to visit them.