The plight of dolphins captured for aquariums or amusement parks has become a more visible issue ever since the academy award-winning film The Cove detailed the brutality involved in dolphin and whale captures in Japan. Orcas (killer whales) and the mental and physical impact of their living conditions in aquatic parks have become an issue following the unfortunate death of a Sea World orca trainer, drowned by a temperamental whale.
Now, Patrick Schmitt of Change.org is trying to focus attention on a group of dolphins that were recently captured for a proposed hotel in Singapore. Twenty-seven dolphins were taken near the Solomon Islands, but two have already died while waiting for the resort hotel to be completed. Even when completed, the arrangements for the dolphins will be less than ideal.
Here is Patrick's call to arms:
27 dolphins were captured from the waters off the Solomon Islands -- 2 have died so far. 25 remain in captivity, and the longer they stay there, the odds increase dramatically that they'll die before they can be freed.
These dolphins have been taken from their natural habitat and held captive, their lives endangered by a hotel chain. Tell Resorts World that these dolphins should be free -- not pent up in tanks to entertain guests.
The dolphin tank at the hotel in question (Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore) hasn't even been built yet. Since half of all captured dolphins die within their first two years of captivity, it would seem that Resorts World simply captured more dolphins than necessary to see how many of them would still be around by the time they were needed.
In the wild, dolphins have a life expectancy of 45 years, and they can swim 40-100 miles a day. They spend half their time hunting for food, which is important for their mental stimulation.
In tanks, dolphins swim around in circles. They can't hunt. They're exposed to bacteria that have been known to cause blindness and death. We need to tell Resorts World to free the "Sentosa 25."
Ric O'Barry used to train Flipper –– yes, that Flipper –– but he's now a staunch anti-captivity activist. O'Barry wrote an open letter to the CEO of Resorts World Sentosa which read, "We know the people of Singapore love dolphins. Most Singaporeans would object to keeping dolphins in captivity if they knew the dangers to the dolphins and the horrific capture practices of the Solomon Islands and other dolphin capture countries."
Here's the good news: Resorts World is sensitive to public pressure. Two years ago, the company abandoned plans for a whale shark exhibit after community outcry. 25 dolphins are depending on us to achieve the same result today.
Please sign the petition to tell Resorts World Sentosa to free the 25 dolphins being held captive in the Philippines.
Click here to learn more about Change.org.