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Dolphin Dies at Sea World’s Discovery Cove

Written by PETA | April 29, 2008
AwesomeFlorida / CC

Discovery Cove doesn’t sound like such a fun place when what you’re discovering is that animals kept in captivity and forced to perform stupid stunts in a pool the size, to them, of a sink tend to die young.

This past weekend, a dolphin named Sharky collided with another dolphin during a live “performance” and died shortly afterwards. The story has been doing the rounds of the international news media, which invariably uses terms like “freak accident” and “random,” interspersed with the occasional quote about the incident being “unfortunate”. Which is all very nice, I guess, but they’re missing a key point about this story: Dolphins don’t do well in captivity because they don’t belong there, and one tragedy or another is inevitable when these animals are required to perform tricks that are as unnatural to them as they are inhumane.

Sharky, like the vast majority of dolphins held captive in marine mammal parks, died a few decades short of his natural life expectancy. The only difference between his story and that of his counterparts around the country is that his story actually got reported on.

More info on marine mammal parks here.

Commenting is closed.
  • Hailey and Sarah says:

    Hi! we have recently decided that we are going to goto seaworld in CA and protest against how these Dolphins end up there ! if you dont know go watch the cove heartbreaking ! if anyone would like to join please email me at! we are making tshirts before hand to sell!!!

  • Jane says:

    THE COVE is an outstanding movie. I agree everybody should watch it. This might of been a “freak accident” however in my opinion Sea World should not even exist. Dolphins die young from ulcers and stress from Sea World. They betray this image that dolphins are happy when they really aren’t. It’s sad that us humans are the cause of this… It’s really upsetting. Dolphins sharks whales and all marine life should not be interfered by humans period.

  • Colleen says:

    Watch THE COVE and see if you will want to go to sea world after that! I do not believe in wild animals kept in captivity and as far as research goes what can you learn about studying a Polar bear in a cage or a human being in a jail cell… you need to research animals in their NATURAL habitatsenvironments. I find dolphins kept in captivity very upsetting and I am ashamed to look at myself in the mirror as a human being when I see how these animals are captured and then treated. It’s common sense if you watch them long enough to see they are desperately unhappy in captivity they are even prone to committing suicide…. it is all such a waste of precious life!

  • Izabel says:

    i have recently been to DC… i really dont know what to think cause everybody knows that those places can make the difference on how humans treats other species. Id really like to know where did thoses dolphins come from… and if they could be released cause if they could how stupid I was. i dont think the dolphins “Do tricks” cause they want to… actually i thing they do things cause they wanna eat some fishes… and that makes me feel so guilty cause maybe those dolphins dont eat untill they get in the tank with the visitors so they can do everything just right… I think Ill regret being there cause… sometimes we just dont get it… We get so amazed about swimming and being so close to the “wildlife” that you get so blind and then when you get real you have just made a big mistake thinking you were doing something so normal… And deep inside we always know that people do everything for money. I really dont feel good right now specially cause Im a biologist.

  • jd says:

    First of all Hi Christine….I was also there last Tuesday small world. Second Discovery Cove is a really great place and all of the trainers had obvious love for the dolphins. I think it really was just a freak accident. So sad. I hope the other dolphin involved is ok.

  • sandy says:

    I love how suddenly a dolphin dies and people become animal activists. Meanwhile they do something good and they praise them. SeaWorld has done nothing but good for those animals but people cant let go on what happened 30 years ago. Now we learned how to properly care for them and study them and help them Also share them with others who cant get to the ocean and see them. As im sure so many people have been to seaworld and heard their parents or friend or someone talk about the captive situation and they siddenly believe them. You know its amazing how suddenly a trend goes through and then people GROW UP!! they know better. There are only FIVE WILDBORN ORCAS in the UNITED STATES the rest are BORN IN CAPTIVITY Same with dolphins. Most of them are exported or imported from other parks.

  • Eric Dickson says:

    I contacted FOX news about the corruption perpetrated by Public Relations head Stewart Clark of Discovery Cove. He attempted to cover up the deaths of Scarlet and her baby as well as Dixie’s newborn who died on July 13 2009. The next night Sea World is on ABC news discussing the birth of a baby dolphin and the wonderful animal care facilities at the park. This was obviously a damage control stunt put together by Clark and the powers that be. FOX news denied an interview. They are as corrupt as you get.

  • Niyonna says:

    I am so so so very sad to hear that because I love dolphins and I think they should live a good long life.

  • Niyonna says:

    I think that Sea World should take better care of these animals.

  • Layla says:

    ARE U SERIOUS i mean this is sad and i love dolphins and all but i just went to discovery cove this week and they said they lives about 30 years longer when they are kept in captivity. they are treaterd very well there and the same at seaworld. this is sad and they should make a bigger pool so the dolphins can swim but i mean this is crazyy discovery cove was awesome and i liked it alot one day i am going to work there and help the dolpohinssssss

    • Karina Pederson says:

      Hi layla, I hope u will wake up 2 the realities of life in captivity 4 the dolphins b4 u decide 2 work there. U would not help them, only imprison them 4 our only pleasure. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Im guilty of being a guest there twice (because of wanting 2 b close 2 dolphins). By the second time, it was clear 2 me that if they had the choice, they would get the heck out. Dont forget that eberything they do is control by food. Please help us empty the tanks and go on 2 study them in the wild

  • Emily says:

    OK guys The marine mammals found stranded that are not releasable WILL die if released. The main goal of all rehabilitators is to release the animal after it is cared for. It is not to keep them and sell them to aquariums and zoos. Maya chances are you work with nonsocial animals such as birds or raccoons. It’s true that these animals can be brought in as young or old animals fixed up and released. However if young marine mammals spend too much time away from their group they don’t have the opportunity to learn how to survive. Many survival skills such as catching food take practice and teaching to learn. For birds it is instinct. Also an animal can look and behave normally but there is a serious problem with them. I visited a marine mammal rehab center that had a dolphin that when one side of its brain fell asleep the other side would too. This means it would drown dolphins sleep with one side of their brain at a time if it didn’t have people there to watch it while it slept. Other than that it was perfectly healthy. There are many illnesses that in captivity cause little to no problem but in the wild would be 100 fatal. The “tricks” captive animals perform are all natural behaviors. No animal is asked to do something it wouldn’t do in the wild. These behaviors are meant to keep the animals from getting bored assist in husbandry care as well as get the public interested in these magnificent animals. Marine mammals as well as most of the animals in zoos are out of reach of most people. Someone who has never seen an ocelot will probably have little interest in putting any effort into saving it but once they see one in person it goes from being a faroff problem that has nothing to do with them to a real gorgeous animal that hopefully makes enough of an impression that that person will be able to say wait I’d like to keep those around. Captive animals for the most part are not animals that once roamed free were viscously captured and were thrown into a 5’X5′ cage. They are captive born ambassadors that assist in bettering the chances of survival of others of their species and others. Many are also involved in breeding programs aimed at increasing numbers in the wild and research can be done to find out more on how to better protect species in the wild. If you want something to be mad about especially if you’re worried about the treatment of marine animals be mad at the Japanese. And in that case good luck.

  • anna says:

    i really agree with u there without some human intervention those like Nyar and Halyn wouldnt have survived long either way animals are like us they each die at different times whether healthy or sick old or young it happens. Accidents happen Sharky crashed into tyler and since sharky was older and took the brunt of the hit she died from what i heard trainers dragged her into a pool and did what they could to help her. you pple live in the sixties because now things have changed people change and with places like sw you wouldnt be able to see animals like that especially in the wild because they spend more time underwater . only very few whales are wild caught the rest are born in captivityget over yourself save the sick ones and the ones that are born or cant survive in the wild will teach other generations about these animals and in turn help save them. idc what anyone says leave them where they are and appreciate those that are left in the wild cause eventually pollution and overfishin will kill them all

  • Baby Leopard says:

    There’s something I forgot to add in my previous post. We don’t know all that much about orcas and studies on just a few wild populations aren’t enough to get their overall average lifespan. Plus the majority of wild orcas are transients and they are known to have shorter overall lifespans than residents because of their feeding habits. It would take more studies on more populations to figure how long orcas actually live and that can prove difficult when researchers only get occasional glimpses of them surfacing. For those who say that wild orcas have never attacked humans that’s not true. There have been three recorded incidents where wild orcas have attacked humans but they all escaped with serious injury. One was a case of mistaken identity. There may have been more incidents of wild orcas attacking humans. It goes to show interactions with wild orcas don’t always have a pleasant outcome and getting too close to them can have consequences some of them very dangerous. If you decide to go whale watching for wild orcas your best bet would be to watch them from the shore. That way you don’t put yourself at as much risk as you would watching them from a small boat.

  • Chris says:

    Interesting posts….a little on the OCD side if ya ask me though…I do agree that it is sad….as for the comment that animals were not meant to be worn….haha….didn’t cavemen wear animals too? Hum… I hope nobody sees you wearing leather shoes during the year…haha.

  • Baby Leopard says:

    Wild orcas and dolphins die young too. Half of all wild newborn orcas never see their first birthday nor do twentyfive percent of wild newborn bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins. Of those that do make it past their first birthday it is unclear how many survive to their average lifespans. For orcas it’s about forty years thirty for the males and fifty for the females combined to get eighty and divided by two with a maximum of sixty males to eighty females years if lucky. As for dolphins particularly the bottlenose dolphin and the Atlantic spotted dolphin average lifespan is about twentyfive to thirty years with a maximum of forty to fifty years if lucky. To reach their maximum lifespans orcas and dolphins have to survive the dangers of the ocean. They have to face disease competition pollution habitat degradation weather food shortages and predators orcas don’t have to worry about this save for humans. It’s not easy being a wild animal and some orcas and dolphins born in captivity would’ve died very young had they been born in the wild. A good example is Nyar a female orca calf born to Gudrun in December 1993 at Sea World Orlando. She had a weak immune system that would’ve never enabled her to survive for very long in the wild. Wild orcas and dolphins can be born with weak immune systems too. If a wild orca or dolphin calf is rejected by its mother and pod at birth it has no chance to survive unless it happens to wash up on a beach alive or is spotted by boaters. Halyn a female orca calf born to Kayla in October 2005 at Sea World Texas was rejected by her mother and handreared by trainers. She would’ve died in the wild had she been born and rejected by Kayla there. The wild is a dangerous place and you have to be tough to survive. If you’re not you don’t stand a chance against the unforgiving natural world.

    • Karina Pederson says:

      Kayla would have cared 4 her young if she only knew how. They ripped her from her own mother 2 young. In the wild, that’s how they learn. Can’t u c that everything they do 2 these whales is unatural and totally wrecks them 4 life?

  • g. turer says:

    I do not agree with what is being said about sea world. I agree that cicuses are cruel but what sea world does is different. Sea world rehabs injured animals as well as doing research to help these animals in the the wild. I think they teach people to love and respect these animals.Yes they do make them perform and live in captivity but as far as I can see these animals are treated well and look healthy. In our society people need humane places like sea world to be able to understand these animals feel love for them and understand the difficulties they face in the wild.When my niece and nephew left sea world they wanted to know what they could do to help the manatee the dolphins etc. I think places like this help people connect to animals and then go foward in life wanting to be more proactive in what they can do and change in there lives to help all living creatures

  • hannah says:

    hi i totaly disagree with animal abuse i got an email and found out about this website and watched one video were they skinned the animals alivei soon broke down into tears seeing poor helpless animals be treated this way makes me sad. Also i have no idea how people can do that and still live an normal life!!! WAKE UP!! HELLO!! ARE YOU STUPID!!! these animals have done NOTHING WRONG and to see people doing thatand how they can be ok knowing what they’ve done or even live with themselves.waking up every morning knowing what you did and starting up and doing ti all over again. if any they did have a heart they would stop. In the video were they show a pet store freezing baby rats and mice and the person who was video tpaing it said they’re suffocating a and the person that worked there saying quote” this is hilarous thats so funny” WHAT KIND OF PERSON ARE YOU!!!!! GROW UP AND GET A LIVE!!!! YOU MAKE ME SICK! some day i hope someone does it to you everythign that you’ve done to an animal and we’ll see whos think its funny!

  • elizabeth says:

    Hi everyone i am from Britain and recently went to Discovery Cove. Although not an expert in this field I am aware of animals including dolphins living in the wild and having their own problems. Are we seriously naive enough to believe that two dolphins crashing into each other does not happen in the wild! come on people get real accidents happen whether it is in a park or the sea! It is also known that Dolphins in the wild are hunted not just by humans but also by Killer whales and sharks shall we all petition against these animals too? I see these dolphins in these parks being fed receiving medical care when needed and generally being looked after doesn’t sound too bad to me. Would the dolphins rebel perhaps!If they were not happy dolphins would they perform?

    • Karina Pederson says:

      So its ok 2 hold anyone captive because the world is dangerous? Should we keep babies born in jail live in prison 4 the rest of their lives just because they dont know any different? U say the dolphins have food and medical care, do u know they usually eat live food? Have u ever seen a wild caught dolphin being force fed dead fish? It’s heartbreaking! Its just as if I cut both your arms so that u can never feed yourself again. And yes they need the medical care since they keep getting sickin their boxes full of chlorine. Thank goodness I believe your country already abolished the practice. Good day

  • becca says:

    FACT dolphins actually live longer in discovery cove than in the wild and they have a much better life. so dont talk if you dont know what you are talking about! they have nothing to eat them either.

  • Tonya says:

    I think that places like Sea World and and many zoos are doing are great job of educating people on what the animals are capable of doing. They are not forcing them to do anything. They teach the animals to do a behavior and if the do it again then the behavior is rewarded exactly like you would do with your dog. That is not punishing your dog or making them feel stupid and in fact it is very stimulating and encouraging. In captivity dolphins need much of the same stimulation and continuously changing activities or you would see them depressed all of the time. I think facilities like Sea World and Zoos that have dolphins have the ability to do an amazing thing inspire the public and show us what these incredible creatures are capable of. Maybe if people know what they are capable of and are shown the level of their intellegence even if it does take some tricks which the dolphins do by choice then people will be inspired to take action to save the rest of the dolphins in the wild and make more of a conservation effort.

    • Karina Pederson says:

      If u think the dolphins want 2 do these tricks, u have no idea whats going on behind the scene. Probably dont know 60% of their food is withheld b4 guests arrive, so it will seem they re eager 2 perform. If they don’t, they r simply skipping their lunch or dinner. Do u know where the dolphins came from? Do u know where they stored after the show? Do u know who is really family and who has just been integrated? I didnt think so. And since u refer 2 them as dogs, know that these r wild and form lifelong bonds with their families. And im sure even your dogs get 2 get out of your house every once in a while. There’s nowhere 2 go 4 the dolphins at discovery

  • Lizzie says:

    I have to admit that i am VERY disappointed in this post. It is VERY bias and makes things seem a lot more extreme than they really are! I have never personally been a fan of Discovery Cove or Sea World the average dolphin really only lives to be about 25. Sharky was 30 when he died. Dolphins in the wild die from many random things and when one accident occurs in captivity its all humans fault? The dolphins are NOT forced to do ANYTHING. They only get fishy snacks to perform ENRICHMENT tricks. I believe that “Sharky” must have had an ear infection which hurt his ability to detect other dolphins and lead to the accident. How do I know all these things? because I work with dolphins myself! I do not approve of dolphins being brought in from the wild and i do not approve of the difficult tricks the dolphins are asked to perform but they do it all because they want to and because it keeps them busy and happy. Like i said places like Discovery Cove I dont approve of because they do it out of selfish purposes for the income. But other places like Marineland actually educate people as to why the dolphins should be saved and they dont do “dolphin shows”.

  • Dee says:

    FYI all the dolphins at Discovery Cove are captive born sometimes several generations removed from the wild and well adapted to life among the bipeds. I had the pleasure of swimming with Sharky stage name Natasha the year before she died. She was a great performer and seemed to enjoy her life. Not surprisingly she taught me a great deal. She was one of the elder dolphins at the park and kept her human trainer on her toes. We were told that she helped train the youngsters. She was incredibly gentle with the children in our group as were all the dolphins. I was very sad to hear of her accident and death. But having been there and seen the emotional bonds with the trainers and the extents the humans go to to insure their health and intellectual stimulation I have no doubt that Sharky’s death was an accident. I have to wonder at her advanced age if there was an underlying health problem. But I don’t have to wonder at the valuable service these ambassador dolphins provide to us humans. I wouldn’t have missed meeting Sharky for the world.

  • Julianne says:

    Animals who are near exstinction should be kept in captivity dude to hunters or any other nasty preditors but FORCING them to perfrom is a no no what a horrible thing that has happened to that dolphin thats soo sad and think how the viewers felt seeing such a majetic animal get hurt But again animals should be in cativity or should it be oppisite should the preditors and hunters be kept away and let the dolphins be fre hmm not a mind breaker STUPID HUNTERS!! leave dolphins alone dont hunt any animal Animals are not ours to eat Animals are not ours to wear and They are not ment for entertainment i think we should shove a harpon up where the sun sont shine on those cruel people or make them jump around when they dont want to if you dont like it why do u think an animal would???

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Hi Sheena! Thank you for that information. I would love to work with a stranding group some day and this is a great learning experience for me. I would love to know what zygomycosis is I’ll have to look it up. I can certainly see why scoliosis would make an animal unreleaseable! However I don’t understand how stranding can cause scoliosis unless they find it by chance. I should mention that I worked for a zoo that only took nonreleaseables. Among many other things we had a seal that had cancer the original zoo that had him did not want him any more. The cancer was in remission but the seal had benign tumors and the original zoo thought he looked too ugly for the public to see and they were going to put him to sleep but the zoo I worked at took him instead. I think it’s great if SeaWorld takes nonreleaseables and gives them a home ESPECIALLY since most rehab facilities do not have enough room for nonreleaseables. I imagine it’s incredibly difficult to make a dolphin sanctuary on a rehabber’s budget. So as long as that’s the case I agree I think it’s great! I’m just not so sure that SeaWorld is always acting in such ways. I’m glad you agree about the breeding that act disturbes me more than anything else. If they can fill aquariums with nonreleaseables the world would be a better place.

  • Sheena Bowen says:

    While taking a class through my school I was introduced to one of the marine parks in Florida that is called out to respond to strandings. As I can’t tell why dolphins strand I know that one in their possession was the result of a hurricane. A young male as I recall but that’s neither here nor there. If Sea WorldDiscovery Cove retrieves their dolphins by less than desirable methods then that should not be I agree. However there are diseases that would prevent a dolphin from being returned to the wild. Scoliosis zygomycosis cases where fin must be removed. These animals would not be able to survive in the wild so why not learn from them in their captivity to help the wild populations? Why not learn from them what is a normal chemistry profile to be able to help another? Make no mistake I do not advocate zoos and other such places that breed animals to boost populations that will never be able to go to their rightful habitats. But if there are creatures that cannot be released learn from them to save another.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Kathyln thank you greatly for that info. I would love more sources if it’s not too much trouble! Andrea I think you have a very positive outlook but as a biologist I can tell you that if we make wild animals in zoos while we destroy their habitat it causes many many many problems. Zoos only do this for profit. Zoo raised animals released into the wild don’t survive any better than the original species in the wild that died out in the first place. By the way you do speak excellent English and my Spanish is so bad it would make you laugh so good for you for being bilingual!!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Hi Secret And Sheena Thank you for responding I find this subject so interesting! As a wildlife rehabilitator I do not know of any surviveable illness that would render an animal unreleaseable. Injury yes. But these dolphins are not missing fins or eyes or anything. I beleive they are releaseable. Imprinting on humans is greatly exaggerated most of the time. If done correctly an orphaned baby can grow to a juvenile and be put in with other wild animals of the same species. When the juvenile hormones kick in their natural aversion to humans kicks in and being with others of the same species makes them realize they are not humans. Therefore releaseable. I have 8 years of experience to back me up on this. In addition I would argue that there is no proof that SeaWorld visitors have a conservation minded attitude. Mostly what I hear in zoos is that “Nature is so cruel it’s better that wild animals are kept in zoos so they don’t have to survive out in the wild”. Aquariums and zoos spread the attitude that nature is sinister and cruel. Not good. I say these things with the utmost humility because I am not licensed to rehab marine animals. Further discussion is welcomed.

  • Andrea says:

    I respect what everyone said here but I think that parks like these and funds make a lot of positive things from heal injured animals to research. I believe in a future the conservation of species will be thanks to the parks because the humans cause a terrible impact in this world and a lot of species are in extinction. I live in a town were a few years ago we could sea the dolphins from the coast but nowadays it doesn’t happen anymore… and it is all our blame. We have to stop pointing up others and start to do something! I speak spanish so sorry for my english!

  • club sandwhich says:

    Marine animals belong in the sea not in a tank! These places are teaching kids the wrong messagetelling them that its alright to capture animals and make them perform for human entertainment. Whenever you go to sea world remember thisyou get to go home at night.they dont.

  • Kathlyn Reed says:

    Sheena your information is incorrect please check your facts. If you check the MMIR not ONE bottlenose dolphin at any Sea World park including discovery cove was a rescue. 60 were captured from the wild in the last 20 years. It is perfectly legal and common to capture cetaceans from the wild. Also check your sources on age. According to a smithsonian publication and a jaque custeau publications bottlenose dolphin females are expected to live into thier 50’s. I will happily provide sources to interested parties.

  • Secret says:

    Maya it’s great to see that there is someone so open minded on here! While you are correct that some marine mammals strand due to sonar used by the navy not all strand for that reason. Others do because of illness or injury. So while a marine mammal that strands due to the sonar may be releasable a sick or injured animal may not be. Also young animals that are orphaned and would die without help also get rescued. But once rescued and rehabilitated by humans they usually become too dependent on humans to be released. The animals that remain in human care become ambassadors for their wild counterparts. The millions of people that visit marine parks like Sea World every year get to interact with marine mammals and learn to love them. By seeing them in a marine park they are seeing animals not stressed by humans and people are not going out into the wild destroying habitats or stressing animals who are still wild. Sheena I love what you had to say!

  • Zeeke says:

    the only way to stop this circus is to STOP PATRONIZING!!!

  • Christine says:

    I recently became a Vegan..before I became aware of the horrors of factory farming etc. I booked a trip to Discovery Cove. I was there last Tuesday…4 days before the accident. I love animals all of them and I became Vegan after research on this site but you have your facts wrong. First of all..Sharkey was a female…second…the mammals there live a longer life than those in their natual habitats. The trainers love them and respect them and would not do them harm. It was an accident..and after being there I can say that the dolphins LIKED “performing”. They liked having their fins and bellys rubbed…and all the fish they could ever possibly eat. In the world we live in SeaWorld does it right…there are much worse fates. It was an accident…humans have them everyday.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Beautifully said Ana! And what a great idea like Cirque de Soleil only uses humans. Or perhap limited tours of wildlife sancutaries could replace zoos they need the money. Just a thought would love to hear your opinion! Sheena You bring up an interesting point. I am curious because recent scientific evidence shows that many sea mammals become stranded because of Navy sonar exercises. The soundwaves confuse them and they get off course. I would like to understand how this makes a stranded animal not releaseable. I’m not being sarcastic I really do want to know more. From what I understood there is no reason why a dolphin who was simply off course could not be released back into the wild. If that’s true than taking them from the wild is illegal. However I would like to hear the information you have.

  • erica says:

    that is so sad and unneccessary but the truth is this “crime” will continue. we need to let word out about this crime.

  • HannaBanana says:

    I was so sad when I heard this story yesterday. My Mom had taken me to Discovery Cove as a graduation present years ago and we have always wanted to go back. Now I don’t. I don’t think dolphins should be kept in captivity unless they are rescued and unable to survive in the wild. This is soooo frustrating.

  • Sarah says:

    i feel so ashamed that i ever went to that park…

    • Karina Pederson says:

      Dont feel ashamed, seaworld and discovery cove are really good at making us believe they are the gift sent from god 4 the dolphins. I was duped as well. Im so glad blackfish came out so the curtain has fallen. We can only live and learn, right?

  • Lys B. says:

    WAKE UP AMERICA!! Imagine you are confined in this manner. When do we stop playing GOD with other species? Maybe just maybe enough people will complain to provide adequate living quarters for these intelligent and graceful mammals! Hopefully people will make a point to acquire a conscience send Sea World a BIG message by their sudden lack of interest. Almost makes me ashamed to be “human” if it weren’t for the fact that many people DO care but don’t know what they can do to help these creatures. WAKE UP AMERICA IT’S YOUR TURN TO STOP THIS ABUSE.

  • lynda downie says:

    Thanks Jack for providing the fact sheet on marine mammal parks. Among other things it answered my question about the chlorine in the pools. What a horrible trade off for natural sea water! Even I can’t stand to swim in a chlorine pool. I can only imagine the trauma these long distance swimmers experience being torn from their pods and forced into an alien isolating cramped space in a chlorine bath! What a horror humans have devised for these intelligent individuals!

  • Annalena says:

    Very sad. Dolphins are such intuitive beings.It is not at all worth seeing them perform tricks.They are often snatched from the wild and seperated from their families which is nothing short of a crime. Humanities vast capacity for exploitation in the name of profit never ceases to amaze me.

  • David says:

    I have to ask that all who are upset by this write to the leaders of Busch Entertainment. You can find all of their names in the back of their annual report. Just do a Google search and start writing. The addresses for some of them are different than for others so watch out for that but do let your voice be heard.

  • Sheena Bowen says:

    Also the dolphin in question was 30 years old. Their average life span in the wild is approximately 25 years. Perhaps the collision exacerbated an already insidious illness and he died of something that would have killed him anyway.

  • Sheena Bowen says:

    Understanding that most of these animals are received as a result of stranding a phenomenon that usually leaves the dolphin dead the Marine Parks such as Sea World and the like are actually doing a lot for dolphinkind. Not much is known about the normals of these creatures medically speaking. These stranded dolphins that cannot be returned to the wild and those that can are provide and excellent avenue to see what’s going on in the wild dolphin populations. Dolphins are the oceans sentinel animals if it’s happening to them it’s going to happen to us. Also with such a highly intelligent creature their minds are best when they are at use. Learning a “trick” is a way for the dolphin to work through a puzzleproblem. It’s really important to their mental development.

  • Maureen says:

    I hope Sharky’s sad sad death will open the eyes to parents who take their kids to see these wonderful intelligent mammals forced to humiliate themselves day after day. To make money for cold blooded business sharks! No offence intended to noble ocean dwelling sharks.

  • Tamra Mullins says:

    I agree!!!

  • Ana says:

    Hi Maya It is all about money and human arrogance greed and cruelty. Compassion is a lost attribute. Hire human performers and this way more people are employed. These places teach children the wrong messagethat these creatures exist for our entertainment solely and that they voluntarily perform stupid tricks for our benefit. Dolphins don’t have families or a natural desire to be free and live in their own natural environment. Oh that’s right only humans deserve this. This so painful. Peace!!!

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    I live in San Diego Calif about 15 miles from Sea World. About 1 year ago our channel 10 news broke a story about what happened when Sea World hired a captain and his crew to catch “SHAMU” the Whale. The captain confessed that it was sad but at least 3 Whales were killed in the process. Of course these Whales were trying to stop the capture. The only good thing about Sea World is that we have a place to take our injured Seals and Dolphins and that is all that is good about Sea World. These wonderful water babies belong in the ocean where we can watch them from the beach. Peace to all animals!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    I hope the word gets out that using wild animals as mega profits is inheirently bad. Keep spreading this message. The only good captive situations for wild animals is when they are nonreleaseable. And they should never be forced to perform tricks. Another really overlooked aspect to this is that all this enclosure space destroys habitat for native species. It’s a real shame.

  • Pamela L. says:

    Sad very sad. And so unneccessary!