Post by Mark
The article below was written by a friend of mine and I believe is worth sharing on the blog. It’s a bit long but worth reading till the end.
An Appeal Against Dolphins in Captivity at the Scientific Center of Kuwait
I would like to begin by saying this letter is an appeal to all those with a conscience and a heart. An appeal to those who do not know, and to those who do. I extend these words in hope that they may inspire action, unity, and a change of fate for those without voices to speak for themselves.
One of my favorite places and institutions in Kuwait will be under construction for the next three years. The Scientific Center of Kuwait. They plan to expand The Scientific Center, and install a dolphinarium.
An aquarium in which dolphins are kept and trained for public entertainment.
This news has been circulating for a few years now and I asked confirmation from the institution itself. It has been confirmed. They are going to build a dolphin prison.
Let’s take a look at the direction the world is moving in – they are enforcing laws that prohibit the exploitation of these wild animals. The United Kingdom has banned dolphinariums since the early 90’s (way ahead of their time). Most (not all) dolphinariums that exist today in the world have existed since the 70’s and 80’s if they haven’t been forced to shut down YET.
The Scientific Center’s Argument
– To increase audience to the center and encourage repeat visits ($$$$profit$$$$)
– The dolphins will have excellent medical care and specialized trainers
– Dolphins live longer in captivity
– The dolphins will not be harmed
– The dolphins are safer in captivity, away from predators, pollution, have constant supply of food
– Children’s attention spans are a problem and they would rather see a dolphin doing tricks than a documentary about them in the wild.
– Dolphins that are bred in captivity (the ones they say they are going to bring) are non-releasable and lack the necessary skills to survive in the wild
I have no references for the above as this information was obtained by speaking to employees of the Scientific Center, and they were very very proud of their new upcoming dolphinarium.
Science and Research’s Argument (The Truth)
– Captivity kills dolphins
– 53% of dolphins that survive violent capture die within 90 days in captivity.
– Average life span of dolphins in the wild is 20-45 years, while in captivity it is only 5.
– Half of all dolphins die from capture shock, pneumonia, intestinal disease, ulcers, chlorine poisoning, in the marine entertainment industry these are accepted as routine operating expenses.
– The chlorine water turns the dolphin’s eyes blind.
– Wild dolphins swim 40-100 miles a day. In a tank, it is like being locked up in a bathroom.
– Confined animals abuse themselves like banging their heads against walls, to create stimuli which their artificial environment lacks. Swimming in circles with their eyes closed in silence, because of confinement and boredom.
– Dolphins spend up to half of their time in the wild hunting for food. In captivity, they are fed dead fish, which results in no exercise, lack of mental stimulation, resulting in severe boredom.
– There is a lengthy and tailored approach to rehabilitating dolphins and releasing them back into open water and is practiced globally.
– Dolphins (and whales) live in complex social groups. They have separate dialects and cultures. Bringing in these creatures and forcing them to live together in a confined space and forcing them to live and perform tricks for our amusement is abusive, unnatural, and psychologically traumatizing.
– The dolphins are trained to do these tricks through hunger deprivation.
The sources for all the above points are located at the end of the post.
It would be a disgrace to our society, and reputation, to take such a disgusting step backwards while the world is moving forwards. It is barbaric to enslave any creature for our amusement (and profit). We cannot allow this to happen with all that we have discovered about the emotional, intellectual capacity of these beings.
I love the Scientific Center. I love the films, the walkways, and the fish flowing and glowing in their black glass tanks. I go there with the people I love. I was told by an employee, that they are looking to make people to come back for more – that the aquarium is not enough, people visit once, that’s it, they’ve seen it all. I personally do not feel this is the case.
Over the course of a year, I visit the Scientific Center at least 10 times, and a maximum of 25. That’s in one year. Maybe I’m an anomaly. But I see familiar faces when I go. I see the world with new eyes, every day. I am a child of the internet. I read and I watch documentaries, and I am constantly learning along with the rest of the world. With you, too. We have no excuse. We can do better than this. The bottom line is – captivity kills. Keeping dolphins in captivity is HARM to the dolphins.
Please, Scientific Center, and people of the public, do not allow this to go through.
[Here is a link to a petition you can sign]
If you read this all and are still not convinced, I beg you to watch the following films which you can find online:
1. The Cove
3. Racing Extinction