TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE DOLPHIN.
This is the day we remember these wonderful mammals, and also the particular ways we continue to harm them.
Here are a few facts about dolphins:
Wild dolphins travel in extended family groupings called pods.
A pod of wild dolphins can travel up to 100 kilometers a day in the open ocean.
Each member of the pod has their own role, that focuses on the well being of the group.
Families frequently remain together for life.
The elder pod members protect the young and teach them crucial survival skills.
Dolphins have advanced communication and are thought by scientists to have names (unique whistles) for each other.
Many divers etc have documented their intelligent and playful behaviour when dealing with humans.
Dolphins’ prey is tracked by the projection of high-frequency sound waves (echolocation) that they are masters at interpreting, after 50 million years of adapting to their ocean homes.
In 2020, dolphins in the wild are threatened by humans in many ways. These include massacres (for example, Taiji), overfishing and by-kill in commercial fishing, and also by an increasingly ‘noisy’ ocean that harms their sensitive hearing and threatens their well being in the wild.
Dolphins (and other cetaceans) living in Seaworld and similar aquariums suffer endlessly, in multiple ways. They are placed in unfamiliar groupings with dolphins that have come from different families, making communication between them difficult. The confined, bare and sterile conditions causes them extreme aggression and frustration. Often they bear scars of clashing with tankmates, and also of self harm. Cetaceans in captivity have been observed regularly bashing their heads against the sides of their tank, and their teeth and mouth can bleed and swell from gnawing at the bars of their gates. At the other extreme of stress, some become very listless, and float around the tank all day, a phenomenon known as ‘logging.’
Dolphins in captivity have to be regularly treated with ulcer medication or antidepressant medication to alleviate the suffering they are forced to endure.
Food deprivation is one of the ways the entertainment industry uses to train them for the tricks dolphins have to perform. This is known as operant conditioning.
Because the tanks they are kept in are shallow, dolphins can experience sunburn, and zinc cream has to be applied to their skin. Heavily chlorinated tanks can burn and irritate their eyes. If the water is not properly cleaned and filtered, it can cause bacterial infections and open sores in the mammals.
Please, today and every day, let us think about these wonderful, intelligent and playful mammals who we are harming in so many grievous ways.
Please don’t support SeaWorld or any other aquariums, anywhere in the world.
For indepth information about Cetaceans, see this article:
Sandra Kyle is the admin/editor of End Animal Slaughter, and a full-time Animal Rights activist.