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Why Dolphins Were Never Meant to Be Locked Up

Why Dolphins Were Never Meant to Be Locked Up

Posted 27 July 2010   by Sim         Permalink | 9 Comments

Tags: dolpins, whales, Sea World, entertainment, circuses, The Cove

A couple of weeks ago, in Japan, Kuru the dolphin jumped out of her tank during a show at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. Former dolphin trainer (from Flipper) turned dolphin advocate and star of The Cove, Ric O'Barry has said "The habitat of that [dolphin] is so unnatural it leapt out of the tank in desperation. It wanted to end it. Why does a person jump out of a building?" Ric may have a point.

While this footage is shocking, it must be a common enough occurrence, since the handlers keep mats around the aquarium's edge to minimise injury when the animals do this exact thing! And why wouldn't she want out?

Each year thousands of cetaceans (dolphins and whales) are captured from the wild and placed into small tanks in 'Sea Worlds' around the globe. The animals are then taught to perform tricks for human entertainment. Basically its a circus for cetaceans. But most people never hear about the horrendous conditions these animals are made to endure.

Like other animals in circuses, these animals dont belong in prisons, but that's what many marine parks are. Everything about a whale or dolphin's life in captivity is restrictive. Dolpins and whales swim dozens and in some cases upwards of a hundred kilometres in a day. Yet in captivity their tanks are often so small that it only takes them a few seconds to swim from end to end. Many of these highly social animals are kept in solitary confinement. And for animals that rely on sonar, their small tanks must be like deafening echo-chambers.

To combat stress related ulcers and 'behavioural problems' these animals are often fed a cocktail of antibiotics and other drugs. Even still, most dolphins in captivity don't live to 20 years (less than half of their natural lifespan), and most orca whales, who could live to be 90+ in the wild, don't live past 10 years of age in captivity.

So it would come as little surprise if Kuru was hoping to end it the other week.

I'm sure you'd agree that locking any animal in a tiny enclosure and forcing them to perform tricks is cruel. Kuru and her cetacean buddies deserve a better life. Just like animal circuses, the strongest message we can send to marine parks with animal performances is simply not to visit them. We can all make a difference and give animals a better life.

What do you think about what happened with Kuru?

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Jenn Jenn 28 July 2010
I still cant understand why people think they should be the only living breathing thing with freedom and rights......... very sad
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kim4 kim4 29 July 2010
I find this extremely sad that this poor animal is willing to commit suicide to be free at last. Why is it that these people supposedly know the behavourisms  of our wildlife and still think it's ok to imprison them for human entertainment.
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Metal Vyxen Metal Vyxen 3 August 2010
This is so sad. All the dolphins friends are coming around to see if it's ok. Dolphins are so intelligent. No animal should be forced to be entertainment for slobs.
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Arieluxable Arieluxable 6 August 2010
This story really upsets me..

The saddest part is that the people who go to these attractions aren't horrible people, they just haven't been educated on what really goes on in places like these and perhaps haven't paused to consider how they would feel if they were stripped of their freedom and rights.

I bet majority of the people who go to see these attractions are animal lovers just like us..someone just needs to show them that its  not right..
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animals deserve 2 live 2!! animals deserve 2 live 2!! 9 August 2010
This is so sad. i can not believe that people would make living, breathing things just like us perform. how would you like it if someone locked you up and forced you to perform................  cry furious sad scared angry
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Lori W Lori W 10 August 2010
It is so sad that these animals (and others in zoos etc) are kept in these small spaces and don't have the freedom of being in the wild like they should.  They are basically just swimming in small circles all day long sad
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animals deserve 2 live 2!! animals deserve 2 live 2!! 11 August 2010
how could they!!  furious angry furious angry
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PenguinPerson PenguinPerson 15 August 2010
same with seals in zoos

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Samantha7 Samantha7 5 April 2011
This is so sad,the dolphin did commit suicide. Why cant humans find somethin else to do instead of watching animals exploited for entertainment. It is true alot of these people have not been educated on how these dolphins are treated, we all must let the word out. Animals are not for our entertainment.
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