Source: Composite by G_marius based on Tom Maughan's image
Kids and adults enjoy watching dolphins shows. But should such intelligent animals be kept in captivity? We discuss the logic and issues of dolphinariums.
Dolphins in captivity?
Dolphins are marine mammals and the most intelligent animals on the planet. Their impressive skills make them the centre of attention in most marine animal shows in aquariums, oceanariums, zoos and theme parks. Dolphins are real stars and the visitors love to watch them performing in the shows or simply while they are swimming or being fed in the dolphinarium. However, many people are opposed to keep these smart animals in captivity. They aru that they suffer much more than we may think. Do you think these criticisms are exaggerated? Could dolphins be happy living in dolphinariums? We outline here some of the pros and cons of dolphinariums so you can make up your mind and decide on which side of the argument you are.
In favor of dolphinariums
- Some types of dolphins are endangered species. Many dolphinariums fight actively to preserve them. They have developed techniques to facilitate reproduction in captivity.
- Captive breeding is also good to minimize dolphin hunting. In the USA about 50% of dolphins are born in captivity.
- Dolphinariums contribute to people's love for dolphins and help raising awareness about dolphins problems and threats. People after watching these beautiful animals they feel closer to them and more prone to defend them. Dolphinariums often raise funding for organizations that fight to protect animal rights.
- Dolphins in captivity do not need to hunt to find food. In dolphinariums they receive food that has been previously frozen to kill parasites. Teams of veterinary doctors also check that dolphins are healthy and treat them whenever required. This makes dolphins in captivity arguably healthier than those in the oceans.
- Dolphins in captivity have allowed us to study them and learn much more about them and understand better some of the problems they face.
- Dolphins are very sociable animals and they also enjoy the games and shows and their interactions with the visitors.
- Dolphins in captivity live in small tanks. It is important to understand that dolphins in the oceans are used to travel long distances (some species up to 200 kilometres a day).
- Those opposing to dolphinariums argue that people learn little about dolphins and just focus on the show, which has little to do with dolphin's lives in the seas. This is a problem similar to that that other domesticated animals suffer in circus.
- Dolphins are very intelligent and a capable of developing a wide range of emotions, many end up suffering depression after being separated from their families and previous groups.
- Wild dolphins compete and some of them abandon the group. Dolphins in captivity sometimes suffer aggressions from other dolphins that in the oceans they can avoid by leaving the group.
- Dolphin hunting causes suffering and death to many dolphins. Those dolphins that don't match the aesthetic criteria from dolphinariums tend to be killed. Activists are fighting to stop dolphin hunting in countries such as Japan.
- Dolphins in captivity end up losing some skills necessary to survive in the oceans, such as hunting.
What do you think about them are dolphinariums a good thing or not? Should smart animals such as dolphins or gorillas be banned from zoos? Should our governments step in and further regulate them?
If you change your mind, you can change your vote simply by clicking on another option.
Dolphins in captivity: should dolphinariums be banned?
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