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Diving With Dolphins May Destroy Them

Written by PETA | March 19, 2010



Really-old-but-still-totally-relevant history lesson (it’s quick—I promise!): The Ancient Greeks were so awed by dolphins, whom they deemed friends to humans, that every time they spotted one swimming behind a ship, they considered him or her a good omen. Now, a new study suggests that in order to respect our marine friends and cognitive cousins, we must simply stay away from them. Findings from researchers at Newcastle University suggest that human interactions with dolphins—from following them in tourist boats to swimming with them to touching them—are harmful to these intelligent, sensitive mammals.

The report claims that when humans swim near bottlenose dolphins and touch them, they inflict severe stress on them, “preventing them from resting, feeding or nurturing their young.” The study found that whenever tourist boats are present, dolphins become unsettled, and according to Newcastle University’s Dr. Berggen, “[T]he dolphins are using more energy than they are taking in because they aren’t resting or feeding as much but are swimming more as they try to avoid the tourist boats.” This has a negative impact not only on individual animals but also on the population as a whole, and long term, it could be devastating.

Every dolphin is a self-aware individual with a unique personality, so it’s no surprise that these animals are perceptive to their surroundings and susceptible to stress-related illnesses. If they’re so intensely affected by the mere presence of humans, just imagine the kind of irreparable trauma they suffer when pulled from the ocean and placed in SeaWorld’s chemically treated prisons. The only way that we can ensure that they’ll live natural, happy, and peaceful lives? Leave them alone—no matter where they are.

Written by Logan Scherer

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  • Badeephak says:

    Chainese are so crew hoe can they kill such a sad animals I fell very very sorry for the animals

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    A segment on the Discovery Channel series “Life” which debuted last night showed how a group of bottlenosed dolphins living in Florida had learned to fish in an area where the water is very shallow. One dolphin swam in a circle beating her tail hard against the sea bottom. This stirred up silt and clouded the water. The fish attempted to jump out of the circle and in so doing jumped right into the mouths of the dolphins waiting just outside the circle. The dolphins took turns being the “beater.” This is a great series I encourage everyone to watch it.

  • Kris Shulfer says:

    Nice and informative article! I did know that when they swim along side a boat that is a good omen!!! they are beautiful peaceful creatures…

  • Urmil says:

    You are right. Humans should be more informed of althis.