Dolphins, those happy little creatures who squeal with delight communicating with one another, seem to have a language of their own. We wonder what they would say if they had any idea how much they’ve been in the news lately.
Keeping wild creatures in captivity has never been one of our favorite subjects and leads to much discourse on both sides of the view. However, we have found that most of these discussions boil down to one thing: m o n e y.
Barnum and Bailey recently declared they would no long use elephants as of 2018 in their circus acts, which brought much praise from those who champion the freedom of all living creatures. What B&B failed to reveal in their press releases was the fact these elephants will continue to be chained and subjected to size XL cattle prods. B&B’s elephants are going into cancer research in Florida, where their blood samples will be used in an extensive DNA study. Imagine retrieving blood samples from elephants. This will allow the famed circus to stand on their self proclaimed rights to keep their elephants in the family, get paid for doing so, and thumb noses at the accredited sanctuaries with thousands of acres to roam.
As much protest as there seems to be, the popularity of swimming with dolphins is not decreasing. Those who insist on participating in this activity have not been informed that dolphins, like elephants, suffer from dramatically shortened lives in captivity. Many not only die young, they often don’t survive capture or transport in tank enclosures that are more like cells of torture.
People like to think that dolphins are much like us and enjoy our company. Given that, imagine a human under these same conditions, held in an extremely confined space with absolutely no chance for escape. Dolphins deprived of their freedom suffer from depression, behavioral abnormalities, a range of illnesses and lowered resistance to disease and death. When captured in the open ocean, they are torn from families; their feeding, resting and breastfeeding disrupted. It’s no wonder they don’t adjust well and have been known to attack human swimming partners in substandard environments.
Some tour groups insist they have an alternative, a better way to swim with dolphins, in their own environment. Boats will transport tourists to lagoons and bays. Once again, it would be fascinating to have the dolphins’ point of view on this activity, which also includes profiteering motives. Scientific investigation into this form of entertainment has demonstrated that dolphins aren’t keen to be constantly invaded in their habitats by boatloads of enthusiastic, noisy, often inebriated swimmers. They will leave their homes, seeking calmer areas to avoid being disturbed, only to be followed by humans with the capacity to track them and repeatedly disrupt their routines. Also to be taken into account are pollution and injuries caused by boat propellers.
We have experienced dolphins visiting at sea, even swimming very close to vessels. Dolphins are, after all, playful and friendly in their natural environment. If one is swimming in the ocean and approached by a dolphin, by all means, interact as safely and genuinely as possible.
Que es cómo es.
Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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