India has just released a statement that it will be rejecting the practice of keeping dolphins in captivity for entertainment purposes, primarily due to the danger and stress it puts on the world’s favorite sea mammal.
While millions of people have grown to adore dolphins due to their playfulness, friendliness, and intelligence, it seems we are really bad at doing the one thing that would benefit them the most: leaving them alone in their natural habitat. After an incident in a dolphin tank in Switzerland led to a ban on dolphin importation in that country, India has decided to take it a step further and directly ban dolphin-related entertainment, meaning the shows will all come to a stop rather than being phased out over time as dolphins get too old to perform.
Not only are captive dolphins susceptible to distress, but loss of habitat due to human development and pollution haa caused wild dolphins in Indian waters to suffer as well.
Of course this is a great step for dolphins in India, but the sad truth is that this is still happening all around the world. So what can we do about it? One of the biggest things is to refuse to support amusement parks that exploit animals for entertainment. It can cost $60 or more per person to go to Sea World, but in my opinion there are better avenues for family fun that don’t involve forcing dolphins to jump out of the water all day. A whale or dolphin watching boat excursion is less disruptive to dolphins and whales and allows them to enjoy their natural habitat.
What do you think about these types of entertainment venues? Do you think more countries should reject holding dolphins in captivity for our entertainment?