Oct. 6, 2021

SUFB 1219: We need to talk about swim-with-dolphins in captivity programs

SUFB 1219: We need to talk about swim-with-dolphins in captivity programs

A listener named Sydney Stauffer asked me to create an episode on my thoughts on swim-with-dolphin programs that are held with dolphins in captivity. She heard the episode with Stephanie Stack (e1214) about swim-with-whales in the wild and wanted me...


A listener named Sydney Stauffer asked me to create an episode on my thoughts on swim-with-dolphin programs that are held with dolphins in captivity. She heard the episode with Stephanie Stack (e1214) about swim-with-whales in the wild and wanted me to discuss the captivity aspect of swimming with dolphins. 

Sydney was concerned that we don't discuss the captivity programs, especially the smaller companies that we see in tourist destinations such as the Caribbean. Tourists participate in these experiences because they think the animals want to participate, but that is not the case. The captive dolphins do not have a choice. 

A captive dolphin that has to undergo human swimming encounters multiple times per day (10-20 on the small end) is not comfortable interacting with that many humans who do not know how to properly interact with a dolphin. Dolphins can (and have!) get aggressive with humans who pay a lot of money to have a dream-come-true encounter with the cetacean. 

Education is the number one solution in getting people to stop frequenting the swim-with-dolphin encounters. 

Links:
Animal Welfare Institute:
https://awionline.org/content/swim-attractions-dolphin-assisted-therapy

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