The Facts:

  • Research shows that dolphins and whales are amongst the most intelligent of the animal species on the planet. It is thought that their capacity for emotional intelligence outweighs that of our own.  Dolphin pods have unique languages, names to identify each individual and intricate social dynamics.
  • Wild-caught dolphins are kidnapped from their families in brutal processes and dolphins that are not “pretty” enough, are slaughtered for their meat.
  • Dolphins will always be captured from the wild to maintain genetic diversity in captive populations.
  • After being stolen from the wild, dolphins are then flown in coffin-like crates to marine parks and aquariums around the world.
  • Captive-bred dolphins are often separated from their family units and sold to different marine parks around the world.
  • Captive mortality rates are high compared to mortality rates in the wild, which can largely be attributable to chronic stress, ingestion of foreign objects and abnormal aggression from other captives.
  • Training methods involve food deprivation and solitary confinement. Dolphins are forced into unnatural ‘family’ units with dolphins from other pods, who are essentially strangers and speak different languages. This often results in aggression between individuals who then do not have the space to escape.
  • The space that dolphins have to move around in in a tank does not begin to compare to the distances travelled in the ocean.
  • Dolphins are fed dead, often medicated fish, whereas in the wild they hunt for themselves.
  • They use highly sophisticated echolocation to communicate and hunt. Their sensitive hearing makes the music, applause and cheering during dolphin shows extremely traumatic.
  • Dolphins in captivity have been known to become depressed and even commit suicide, due to the stress and suffering they endure in captivity.
  • Aquariums claim to aid in conservation, but do nothing of the sort. Dolphins bred in captivity are never intended to be released into the wild.
  • Dolphin shows are not educational as they do not mimic natural behaviour in any way. Watching dolphins jump through a hoop or balance a ball on their noses teaches the public nothing about behaviour of dolphins in the wild. 
  • Profit and entertainment are the overriding reasons for the existence of marine parks and aquariums, and visitors are mostly there to be entertained, not educated.

How you can help:

  • Do not buy a ticket to a dolphin show or swim with dolphins programme.
  • Educate your family and friends about the suffering that captive dolphins endure.
  • Join BAT and put pressure on local municipalities to end dolphin shows, swim with dolphin programmes and retire captive dolphins to sea pens

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