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Thinking of swimming with dolphins?  Please read this first

The ‘once in a lifetime’ experience that tour companies and travel agents are selling you is anything but once in a lifetime for the dolphin, sea lion or manatee, who’s daily grind of tricks and captivity is leading to physical disease and mental distress.

  • Captive dolphins are kept in tiny tanks, often with no shade. In the wild they spend their natural lives swimming up to 100km each day with their pods in the ocean. A life in captivity steals them of their right to freedom.

  • Captive dolphins cannot communicate, hunt, roam, mate, support, educate and play as they would in the wild with their own pod. They are often moved and kept with animals from other parts of the world.

  • Captive dolphins have a proven lower survival rate than in the wild. They DO NOT thrive in captivity, the stress of their confinement often results in behavioural abnormalities, unique illnesses and premature death.

  • Captive dolphins held in sea pens may harm the local marine environment – a result of dolphin waste contributing to excessive algal growth that threatens coral reef among other important eco-systems.

  • Captive dolphins cannot escape from human interaction in captivity. They suffer immeasurably from constant human interaction and are regularly and unnaturally medicated to combat depression, distress and anxiety.

  • Captive dolphins are constantly at risk of being injured by humans and indeed other captive dolphins. Their delicate skin is regularly damaged by human fingernails, jewellery and endless direct contact with humans and once again needs further unnatural medication.

  • Captive dolphins are known to attack tourists who take part in swim with dolphin activities. The attacks are covered up and settled financially by the dolphinaria companies.



Report on Captive Dolphins in Mexico 2016

In 2016 Dolphin Freedom published peer-reviewed research into the Mexican dolphinarium industry. The comprehensive study documents the current practices of the Mexican dolphinarium industry and is by far the most up to date research available on the industry today.

The report documents (with supporting evidence) grave problems associated with the Mexican dolphinaria industry, including factory farming style breeding programs, high calf mortality rates, physical health problems associated with “swim-the-dolphins” tourist interactions, a total lack of transparency and systematic misinformation being delivered to customers.

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