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.