The Degrading Life of a Captive Dolphin


 It’s a sad day when a wild, intelligent, majestic creature is reduced to a clown doing circus acts. That is exactly what is happening to dolphins in captivity. I have already written about Seaworld vs. the Circus, and have created a videoregarding the issue. But still I am reminded of this fact almost daily, especially as of late. There are a few facts about captivity that still need to be emphasized.

      Seaworld was not built for conservation, or for education. It was supposed to be a resturaunt/marine life park. Basically, dinner and a show. But when the resturaunt didn’t work out, Seaworld simply became a marine life park. Things haven’t really changed. The park

Captive dolphins are often reduced to circus clowns.

is still much more focused on entertainment than it is on education or conservation. Seaworld makes a lot of money but still only donates about $100,000 annually to their own Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. That’s only about 20% of the $1 million that the fund recieves each year. (the rest comes from donations and grants.)

     Of course none of this money would be possible without the tourist, and the tourist wouldn’t visit the parks if it weren’t for the employees hiding all of the nasty buisness of the captivity industry. There is only mis-education at Seaworld and this is seen in the fact that employees are trained to avoid “buzzwords,” Like “capture,” “captivity,” or “wild” ; how can one become educated about wildlife when the educator is trained to use sugar-coated words to suit their agenda, and can’t even use the word “wild?” What does that say about Seaworld’s “education”? No doubt other marine parks operate in the same way. This list of Shamu Shows since Seaworld’s beginning also reveals that the

A Seaworld San Diego dolphin is dressed up in a bikini for a photo. (1964)

 performances are anything but educational. With names like “Shamu Goes Hollywood,” it’s easy to see why. It’s good to remember that this isn’t just about Seaworld, but other dolphinariums across the globe.  

     The dolphins are trained of course, to jump through hoops, to “hug” trainers and “dance,” etc. All of these tricks are silly, and unnatural. Not only can you see these tricks in US dolphinariums like Seaworld, but also in foreign dolphin “circuses.” 

    The tricks aren’t just degrading, the “dressing up” isn’t just degrading, the medical procedures are also degrading. These sentient, wild animals are essentially infringed upon during artificial insemination and prostituted to other marine parks around the globe. This is a total violation of nature. It is mind boggling to consider how someone could not see this as absolute exploitation. There is no benefit in this for the animals, and it is selfish to take a wild creature and train it to perform for tourists, all for the monetary gain of large corporations.

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One thought on “The Degrading Life of a Captive Dolphin

  1. should be made illegal and all cetaceans returned to the ocean – the hunts and captures to be stopped – until this day we will not stop the fight !!

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