*On December 30, 2018, the third imprisoned Atlantic bottlenose dolphin died in just over one year since Dolphinaris Arizona filled its tanks.
Now there are just five remaining inmates housed at this wretched facility located near Scottsdale. 400 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, these masterpiece bottlenose dolphins are forced to swim in bathtubs, performing asinine tricks until they perish. It’s cruel and inhumane.
What horrible crimes did these exquisite mammals commit to merit such a heinous lifetime of punishment?
In America, it’s still legal to jail our brethren, the dolphins, for committing no crimes whatsoever. These incredible mammals are incarcerated so that certain corporations can profiteer whilst these beautiful sentient creatures languish in constant misery. They slowly painfully expire from rare muscle diseases, acute bacterial infections, and central nervous and muscle disease induced by Man’s captivity.
In India, on the other hand, it’s against the law to imprison any cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises). There they are recognized as “non-human persons” with their own specific rights. It is morally unacceptable, according to the Indian judicial system, to keep them enslaved for entertainment purpose.
Incidentally, dolphins are innovative when faced with a new or never-encountered circumstance. This goes beyond their genetic programming of behavior. Innovation allows rapid assessment of a new situation and reactions to it.
Dolphins clearly understand gestures similar to sign language. Humans and dolphins appear to be the only known animals to spontaneously interpret images on a screen without prior instruction. “
Dolphins clearly understand gestures similar to sign language. Humans and dolphins appear to be the only known animals to spontaneously interpret images on a screen without prior instruction. Dolphins are capable of highly flexible behavior and therefore are considered intelligent.
Furthermore, dolphins are insightful, exhibit reasoning, curiosity and imagination. When dolphins see humans, they come over to play. Play and entertainment comprise a large part of dolphin childhood and development. According to psychiatrist Dr. Sterling Bunnell, “Play is a hallmark of intelligence and indispensable for creativity.”
By the way, just like human teenagers who experiment with hallucinogenic drugs, so, too, do juvenile bottlenose dolphins. They carefully manipulate pufferfish to release its toxin, pass it amongst one another like a joint of marijuana, and then drop into a trance. This deliberate behavior mirrors that of human drug use.
Dolphins also use tools. When fossicking for fish hiding in the sea bed, bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia, wrap their rostrums, or, noses, with basket sponges in order to protect them from spines and stingers buried in the sea floor along with their prey. The dolphins learn this behavior from their mothers.
Ladies and gentlemen, the writing is on the wall. All over the world, animal circuses are shutting down left, right and center. Lawmakers are doing the right thing by enacting laws to protect the creatures from heartless corporations solely fixated on profiting off the backs of the shackled animals.
Outlawing all captive cetacean centers, or, dolphinariums, would also curtail some of the blood money attained by organized crime in Japan. The yakuza makes millions of dollars from selecting the best dolphins within pods otherwise sentenced to the vile 8-month long Taiji bloodbath. Those pre-selected dolphins are then sold into a horrid lifetime of slavery and torture.
It’s high time for all countries globally to grant amnesty to these majestic creatures by emptying all the tanks!
In the meantime, it’s up to each of us to lend a helping hand. Refuse to purchase a ticket to a dolphinarium. If society does not support this hideous and brutal form of slavery its wheels of commerce will abruptly grind to a halt thereby padlocking dolphinarium doors forever.
Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.
Dr Reese Halter’s latest book is
Empty the Tanks Empty the Tanks Empty the Tanks Empty the Tanks
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