In another victory for animal activists and sympathizers, a dolphin entertainment park in Turkey was shut down recently. (Hopefully, others around the world will suit.) The park was in Antalya’s Kaş, a small coastal town where tourism, fishing, diving and yachting are popular. (Considering all the water activities available it hardly seems necessary to keep dolphins captive there.)
A Change.org petition helped gather 20,000 signatures
against the dolphin park and this crowd sourcing of outcry played a role in the positive outcome for the dolphins. Increasingly, it seems people are aware the dolphins are intelligent creatures that need open space in order to be healthy. Caging them appears to strike many people on an instinctual nerve that such parks are actually dolphin abuse and no dolphins should be held captive to do tricks for crowds simply to make money for businesses.
According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals many wild dolphins die during attempts to capture them for the dolphin trade. Additionally, about half of those capture die within three months of being confined in swimming pools.Some are also used as meat for human consumption. Tragically, in other parts of the world such as Latin America the number of entertainment dolphin parks is reportedly growing.
Though it may look like dolphins at entertainment parks are having fun, they don’t normally do many of the tricks they are taught and only doing them for food rewards. Showing human audiences dolphins doing tricks is not educational. It is exploitation for profit. If those parks truly cared about dolphins they would not buy them from dolphin hunters that kill so many while trying to capture them. If they cared about them, they wouldn’t put them in such small enclosures, or any enclosures.
Paying to see dolphin shows only further motivates people to open more entertainment dolphin parks.