Have you ever wanted to swim with the dolphins whilst on holiday? This is an experience that many holiday makers enjoy and perceive as a fun filled day for all involved. However, these alleged ‘once in a life time’ opportunities, aren’t as fun or as harmless as they may first seem.

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The onset of disease and emotional distress are just two of the bigger problems experienced by many dolphins when they are forced to interact with humans in this way.

If that’s not reason enough to avoid this kind of tourist trap, then it also pays to know that dolphins are taken from the wild, as well as bred in captivity for this purpose.

Dolphins in Captivity

When dolphins are taken from the wild they are obviously losing their freedom, and when dolphins are bred in captivity, they are often forced into breeding programmes involving artificial methods.

When dolphins live in the wild, they will often swim up to 100km each day! Compare this with the small enclosures that they are forced to live in in captivity, often with little or no shade, and it’s easy to see how they don’t even come close to experiencing their natural existence. Additionally, captive dolphins are unable to hunt as they naturally would, just as they can’t mate, play or communicate in a natural way.

Captive Dolphins and the Environment

In addition to captivity being bad for the dolphins, the knock-on effect on the environment can also not be ignored. When the dolphins are held in sea pens, their waste can actually harm the surrounding marine environment. This is because it can exacerbate the growth of existing algae, which can become dangerous to local eco-systems.

Treatment in Captivity

You may be surprised to learn that captive dolphins are often actually medicated in order to tackle the feelings of anxiety, depression and isolation that they experience. SeaWorld has previously admitted to medicating animals in their care with psychoactive medications, such as valium.

Signs of mental instability in dolphins can easily be spotted, and they become prone to such behaviours as swimming in circles, regurgitating their own food and playing with the vomit, and even finding ways to self-mutilate and kill themselves. (Source)

Danger to Humans

At the end of the day, dolphins are wild animals that can grow up to 12 feet long and weigh up to 600 lbs. There have been many accounts of dolphins attacking humans, biting them and attempting to pull them under the water. It is hardly surprising given the conditions that dolphins are forced to live in whilst in captivity that their natural urges to hunt manifest against holiday makers in this way.

It has been suggested that these dolphin attacks don’t frequently make the headlines because they are covered up by the companies who organise the interactions.

Dolphin Freedom UK

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Dolphin Freedom UK are an organisation that work to educate the public about what swimming with dolphins really entails. They campaign against the tour companies that encourage tourists to participate in interactions with dolphins and seek to spread their message to the general public.

Thomas Cook are known to be one large company in particular that organise and promote dolphin swimming activities. In response to this, Dolphin Freedom UK have previously organised tweetstorms to deliver their message to Thomas Cook via Twitter en masse!

You can join in with the next tweetstorm by checking out their Facebook event and joining them on Twitter on the 18th of June!

Contact The Vegan Hippo

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Email: info@veganhippo.com
Phone Number: 020 7734 8574