Monday, September 20, 2010

The Dangers of Captivity

      The dolphin smile is its greatest weakness.  One would think that because dolphins are always smiling that they must always be happy.  But that isn't the case at all.  Almost all dolphins in captivity suffer greatly and long to be free.  Only around 53% of dolphins survive being captured and typically die ninty days after being in captivity.  A free dolphin can live to be forty-five years old, but captured dolphins are lucky to like for two years and normally never live past five.  If a dolphin does however live past five years in captivity, it is likely that they will develop diseases such as pnuemonia, chlorine poisoning, ulcers, ect.   Dolphins are also known to go blind due to the chemicals in the pool water.  
      An average dolphin swims over forty miles a day, but dolphins in captivity are confined to small pools that give them little room to play and excersise in.  That would be like putting a person in a six by six room everyday.  Ontop of being stuck in a confined room, you are ordered around to jump in front of crowds and are forced to do tricks.  Dolphins swim for the fun of it and love surfing waves and bring free, so living in a tank that is poked and prodded at all day and being told what and when to do it can't compare to their freedom.  Because dolphins are confined to such a limited area, it isn't unusual for them swim in circles with their eyes closed or bang their head on the glass just to pass the time.  Many dolphins born in captivity rarely survive.  Therefore, so calf births aren't announced until they have survived for a certain amount of time  In many wild parks, the dolphins aren't fed until during the show so that they will perform or "work" for their food.  In the wild, a dolphin is catching wild fish which not only provides more excersise but it is healthier compared to eating dead fish.
    An easy way to get involved with freeing dolphins is not support dolphin shows of any kind, even if its just to look at dolphins in a tank.  No dolphin deserves to be taken from their home and forced into a lifestyle that isn't natural to them.   

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