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Kids Will Flip Over Faux ‘Flippers’

Written by PETA | May 28, 2009
treehugger / CC
dolphin

The good folks over at Animal Makers are up to their old tricks. By “tricks,” we mean creating amazingly lifelike animatronic models that stand in for real animals in movies and advertisements. Oh, and now we can add that they stand in for real dolphins in “swim with” therapy programs.

We’re generally not fans of anything to do with swimming with dolphins (unless it involves a boat and scuba gear out in the middle of the ocean). That’s because hotels and aquariums that offer people the chance to “swim” with dolphins really mean that you get to sit with a dolphin in a swimming pool—a pool that is essentially the equivalent of a bathtub to an animal who would naturally swim dozens of miles a day. In addition to the criminal lack of exercise and mental stimulation, captive dolphins are suspected of being driven mad by the sound of their sonar, which constantly bounces off the tank walls.

But thanks to Animal Makers, kids with cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, and other developmental disorders will get a chance to interact with “TADs” (therapeutic animatronic dolphins) that move and even make squeaky dolphin noises at a new facility that is being built in Florida.

Kids get to play with really cool life-like robots, dolphins get a break. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Written by Alisa Mullins

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  • elizabeth says:

    great to see that this is being done these beautiful animals were’nt meant to be held in captiving sad to see what humans do to make $$ off precious animals that belong back in their own domain!

  • zosh says:

    It’s in Bradenton FL. Web site is http://www.iactcenter.com Video is on You Tube as well of TAD.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Is this the same company that makes the animatronic baby harp seals now in use as therapy animals in Japanese nursing homes?

  • Niki says:

    Hi where exactly in Florida will this be? This is so wonderful to hear! I despise Swim with Dolphin parks! I would love to see a dolphin park made entirely of realistic looking and sounding robotics! Terrific! Keep us updated!

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