Another day, another dolphin dies in captivity. This time, the victim was only 9 days old. Tourists visiting Dolphinarium Varna in Bulgaria say that they watched in shock as the baby dolphin died while being forced to perform there.
Bisser Lyubenov was in attendance and told local news media, “There was a disturbance, the dolphins stopped playing and performing tricks.” He said that the facility then cut the show short and asked everyone to leave.
Other witnesses reported that they could see the body of the baby dolphin from the park’s café. Dolphinarium Varna denies that the animal died during a live show and in front of children. But local animal advocacy organization Four Paws told BBC News that five dolphins and a seal have died at the park in the past five years.
And animals don’t fare much better at other marine mammal amusement parks around the world. Buying tickets to dolphin performances or “swim with dolphins” encounters fuels a cycle of abduction or forced breeding, abuse, and early death.
As the BBC reports, “It is now widely recognised that captivity is harmful for cetaceans whose highly intelligent and socially complex nature requires the freedom of the open seas. … [T]he prevailing tendency in Europe is towards the closure of such facilities. In the UK, shows featuring captive dolphins stopped more than 25 years ago, following a highly popular animal rights campaign.”
Canada also recently banned the practice of keeping whales, dolphins, and porpoises in captivity. It’s time for all other countries to follow suit. Urge AAA to stop supporting SeaWorld today.