Dolphinariums in North America are thriving. I just came back from a trip the Caribbean where I saw advertisements for “swimming with dolphin” experiences. People flock to these tourism attractions because dolphins are such an iconic species that everyone loves (except some don’t).
We see advertisements for dolphinariums all of the time, but we rarely think about the effect of the facilities on the animals. Dolphins tend to perform and interact with humans most days of the week. The frequent interactions are stressful on the dolphins, where the stress could lead to infections or diseases as the immune system is weakened due to stress (just like in humans). Stress is difficult to noticed and often goes undiagnosed, especially when the animals are the main attraction.
Tourists often don’t realize the stress the animals are under and rarely speak about concern for their health until an animal, or in today’s case, 4 animals die at 1 facility.
Dolphinaris Arizona, a dolphinarium in the desert that opened in 2016, has had 4 dolphin deaths at their facility. Some “experts” are chalking it up as sad while real experts are worried about the stress on the animals.
Listen to the episode to find out how two of the dolphins died and why the facility is temporarily closed. Also find out why experts say the dolphins at this facility were stressed.
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