Dolphin Interactions

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Dolphin Interactions
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By Patti Gutshall

Dolphin Interaction Program at SeaWorld San Diego is an incredible program.  This is not swim with the Dolphins, but an interaction program up close learning event.   Petting hugging and gliding along side them.  

You are given a wetsuit and booties, as you must wear what they are use to, you can not bring your own.  You walk into the Dolphin Cove and are never aloud to swim across.  We were instructed that if we were told to stand against the wall to do so immediately with your legs together. If they see a hole  they will want to swim thru it.  You are a toy to them and if you give them a space in which to swim thru they will.  You will have a pony ride never to be forgotten.  

We fed them octopus and fish.  They have very sharp teeth, but they don’t chew, as they swallow the fish whole.  We were able to touch and feel their skin, stomach and back.  You do not ride them but, glide along side of them holding in front of their dorsal  fin and pectoral fin.  My favorite part was looking into the eye, so close.  

Dolphins are very social and must never be kept alone.  SeaWorld is a Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release Program.  The dolphins that remain there would not be able to survive in the wild.  All dolphins are protected under the Marine Manual Protection Act, set up to study, protect and conserve these fascinating species.

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Minibeast Jan 22, 2022 11:27 AM
Dolphin Interactions

a-1642882525 Jan 22, 2022 12:15 PM
Dolphin Interactions

I don't always support PETA, but I do here. I guess it's nice people have fun with the dolphins. But these are animals almost as intelligent as we are, and we confine them physically and mentally to this sad, caged existence.

chico berkeley Jan 22, 2022 03:11 PM
Dolphin Interactions

" SeaWorld is a Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release Program. The dolphins that remain there would not be able to survive in the wild. All dolphins are protected under the Marine Manual Protection Act, set up to study, protect and conserve these fascinating species."
Guess you didn't read that part.

chico berkeley Jan 22, 2022 03:12 PM
Dolphin Interactions

" SeaWorld is a Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release Program. The dolphins that remain there would not be able to survive in the wild. All dolphins are protected under the Marine Manual Protection Act, set up to study, protect and conserve these fascinating species."
Guess you didn't read that part.

a-1643009281 Jan 23, 2022 11:28 PM
Dolphin Interactions

There's no date on the PETA article.
The video says SeaWorld was forced to end Orca breeding program in 2016.
The documentary Blackfish turned public opinion, after years of effort behind the scenes as is always true of any movement.
I will read much more source material than a PETA article.

And I am wholly against cetaceans being captive.

Yes, it's an important issue. My favorite contribution was seeing Crosby and Nash at the Bowl after the release of Wind on the Water album with Critical Mass/To the Last Whale. Released Sept. 1975. I can't listen to it; I'm teary just writing about it.

Guess what other songs were on that album?
Field Worker.

Take the Money and Run is applicable too,regardless of whom it was written about.

Same old problems. No solutions. The human species is the problem.

Bird Jan 23, 2022 08:19 AM
Dolphin Interactions

Probably true that the dolphins that remain there would never be able to survive in the wild. That’s because they were stolen from the wild and have lost family and groups. and become habituated to life in a swimming pool. This is a 3 Rs program but where is the Release part? It would be as though the SB Wildlife Care Network kept all the rescued birds in cages ever afterwards. Indeed, probably fun for the humans, but what must these very intelligent creatures communicate with each other once the last visitor has gone and lights dim at their swimming pool/cage?

helena Jan 23, 2022 03:30 PM
Dolphin Interactions

The Cove (2009) free on Tubi:

a-1643009752 Jan 23, 2022 11:35 PM
Dolphin Interactions

The Cove comes with a trigger warning.

I'm not a proponent of the them, and you should know about the issues that may benefit from them, but I'll throw one out there.

Warning about The Cove ain't like warning about a classic piece of literature or a classic movie with an objectionable scene.
It's genocidal.
Changing my mind as I write:
So if documents of human genocide, and regular news reports and videos of murder, don't have warnings neither should this.

Blood, massacre, useless slaughter.
I do know about it. As anyone who reads news should. I read about atrocities. I chose to not view them.
But thanks, Helena, really.

ParvoPup Jan 23, 2022 05:38 PM
Dolphin Interactions

After Global Warming has half of Santa Barbara underwater, I picture pods of dolphins circling the survivors and laughing their fins off.

a-1643009998 Jan 23, 2022 11:39 PM
Dolphin Interactions

Dammit, I am thoroughly depressed now. Same old stuff. Think about the world and that is the result. Yes, I work in the grass roots. I think we're pretty doomed, in many ways.

Patti: Good for you! Looks like an incredible experience. Their only hope is with our help, after what we've done and "accomplished." Thanks for sharing the story and photos!

CMKR Jan 24, 2022 08:40 AM
Dolphin Interactions

People should be discouraged from attending these shows, not encouraged to do so. This is widely regarded as animal cruelty

sacjon Jan 24, 2022 09:24 AM
Dolphin Interactions

This is awesome! Must have been amazing to be so close to such intelligent animals. I really don't see how this is "cruelty," though. These dolphins are incapable of life in the wild. So, do we just put them down? No, let them live their lives being fed and played with. I'm sure they'd prefer that to death. No?

a-1643059046 Jan 24, 2022 01:17 PM
Dolphin Interactions

Have you seen the tiny enclosures these highly intelligent animals are confined to? I don't agree that humans are so all-knowing that we get to make these decisions as if we know what is "better" for them. If Sea World was truly interested in giving these animals the best life possible, they would build massively larger enclosures with plenty of available food that does NOT require daily performances...and then see if the dolphins are at all interested in this kind of (profitable) interaction. Right now, it is just a sick, uncontrolled experiment that makes it impossible to draw conclusions about what is best.

CMKR Jan 24, 2022 10:40 AM
Dolphin Interactions

What's up with the downvotes for my calling this out as animal cruelty, which is a widely supported perspective, and has been for a long time, among respected scientists in relevant fields, and universally so among animal rights organizations? Has no one heard of the efforts to boycott and shut these facilities down on the grounds that holding Cetaceans in captivity under these or any conditions constitutes cruelty? Or are the downvoters simply pro-animal cruelty?

sacjon Jan 24, 2022 11:15 AM
Dolphin Interactions

CMKR - would you prefer these dolphins be released to the wild where they are not "able to survive?" Keeping wild animals in captivity is not always for pure entertainment value. In some cases, such as this, they are "rescued and rehabilitated," but not able to be "released" due to a myriad of reasons such as debilitating injury, illness, etc.

a-1643059160 Jan 24, 2022 01:19 PM
Dolphin Interactions

SACJON, why do you feel humans are qualified to determine what is best for these animals?

sacjon Jan 24, 2022 01:43 PM
Dolphin Interactions

1:19 - um....... because veterinarians? Dolphins can't speak? Pretty easy for them to determine when an animal would not survive in the wild hunting its own food.

a-1643066020 Jan 24, 2022 03:13 PM
Dolphin Interactions

No no, not whether they would survive, that isn't the question. Think about what you are arguing for - why do we need to force these animals to perform for us for no reason except our own entertainment? I believe what the veterinarians say about them not being able to survive in the wild, but why should dolphins have to pay for their "rescue" by becoming glorified circus animals living in cages <1% the size of their natural habitat, devoid of amenities, forced to perform for paying customers? What is the point? Why are we okay with a massive company playing (and profiting from) a game of ocean dollhouse with intelligent, living creatures? This is animal abuse, and the only reason it is somewhat socially accepted is because Sea World DOES do good outside of these disgusting programs.

sacjon Jan 24, 2022 03:22 PM
Dolphin Interactions

3:13 not sure you understand what I'm "arguing for." Some rescued animals suffer debilitating diseases or injuries and are unable to hunt for/feed themselves. You even say "I believe what the veterinarians say about them not being able to survive in the wild." So, what would you do with them? Release them to certain slow and painful death? Lock them up away from the public for the rest of their lives? Why is it so terrible to give them what is clearly a happy life in captivity? Dolphins in particular are social creatures and enjoy (for the most part) human interaction. You say they shouldn't "pay for their 'recuse,'" but what's the alternative?

You and CMKR and others keep downvoting and complaining I'm bad for being OK with some cases of captivity like this, yet you don't in any way explain the alternative. Solitary confinement so as to not be "forced to entertain?" Provide some helpful solutions.

a-1643066638 Jan 24, 2022 03:23 PM
Dolphin Interactions

Highly intelligent animals need to be stimulated and studies have shown they're happier when fulfilling duties and a "job"

a-1643066834 Jan 24, 2022 03:27 PM
Dolphin Interactions

Are people upset about these programs too?

a-1643124289 Jan 25, 2022 07:24 AM
Dolphin Interactions

SAC, one need not have all the solutions to know something is wrong with parading intelligent animals around a tiny cage for their entire lives. Not having all the solutions does not make an argument invalid, that's a copout.

sacjon Jan 25, 2022 09:40 AM
Dolphin Interactions

7:24am - I never asked for "all the solutions," I asked for "a" solution as opposed to just saying "no, it's bad." Again, really try here....... what do you suggest they do with those animals who are unable to survive in the wild? Answer the question. Can you? You haven't been able to so far.

"Copout" indeed.....

sacjon Jan 25, 2022 09:44 AM
Dolphin Interactions

well "a" or "some" - point is, I've been asking over and over again for you or CMKR (if not one and the same) to answer the question: What would you do with animals that are destined for starvation or other assured death in the wild?

helena Jan 24, 2022 11:25 AM
Dolphin Interactions

11:35 is correct, I should have included a trigger warning.
The Cove is about the mass slaughter of dolphins and rounding some of them up to be shipped off to life in captivity, away from their pods, for the benefit of paying customers to "have an experience" with them.
And yes, Sea World had to be legally compelled to stop gathering some of its inhabitants this way; forcing animals to perform for the public was much too lucrative for them to ethically stop on their own.

We are very lucky to live in an area where we can surf, kayak, and the like out to where these amazing creatures can choose to frolic around us...born and staying free.

a-1643059252 Jan 24, 2022 01:20 PM
Dolphin Interactions

A good friend is a Marine Biologist and I asked their opinion on these things. They said it's not a simple cut and dry issue. Sea World as an organization is the leading research and support group for marine biology. They said it's almost like sacrificing few for the many. A few might be held captive but their research and ocean conservancy saves hundreds of thousands. Food for thought.

a-1643059535 Jan 24, 2022 01:25 PM
Dolphin Interactions

This is a MUCH healthier view of what is going on, thank you for sharing. It is not a black and white issue, but that does not make it any less unfortunate and depressing.

a-1643060169 Jan 24, 2022 01:36 PM
Dolphin Interactions

Two things can be true at once, but yes it is complicated. SeaWorld funds animal rescue and rehab groups that re-release all kinds of sea animals back into the wild. They've donated billions to conservation groups. All that money is made possible by people interacting with sea animals and watching them. Its similar to zoos and it doesn't make it right, but a lot more animals would be dying out there due to how humans have eviscerated their environments. And there aren't many groups who care and do something about it. I can feel ok paying to float in a pool next to a dolphin and pose for kiss pictures knowing there are thousands of pods of dolphins living out there due to my money.

Basicinfo805 Jan 24, 2022 01:27 PM
Dolphin Interactions

Research is one thing, rides on dolphins is something else…

a-1643060197 Jan 24, 2022 01:36 PM
Dolphin Interactions

SeaWorld doesn't do dolphin rides, you must be thinking of Mexico and other countries that have much looser laws on animals.

Chevy67 Jan 25, 2022 10:53 AM
Dolphin Interactions

With this same logic, all dogs, cats, and pigs should be freed and released back into their natural habitat.

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