Most people have good intentions when they go on excursions or visit parks that allow you to swim with dolphins. But if they knew the truth behind the deceptive dolphin smile, they’d be horrified to know what they were actually supporting.
Sometimes, dolphins are illegally captured and sold to parks around the world.
Many of the dolphins who are deemed less “attractive”—and, therefore, less profitable—are slaughtered during the capture process and sold as meat to unsuspecting consumers.
Dolphins are torn away from their families in the wild—even babies, who typically stay with their mothers for three to six years.
In the wild, dolphins swim up to 60 miles each day, but in captivity, they’re confined to chemically treated concrete pools. This is especially traumatic for them since they communicate through sonar.
Captive dolphins are often housed in incompatible groups, and because of the cramped conditions of their enclosures, they’re unable to escape conflicts.
Many dolphins develop painful conditions, such as stomach ulcers, and some die prematurely from the stressful conditions of captivity.
Many illnesses can be passed from dolphins to human visitors, including viral, fungal, and bacterial infections such as salmonella. People have also been bitten and sustained broken bones during their swimming sessions.
Learn more about the marine-mammal captivity industry and the true cost that dolphins pay. Never visit or attend marine parks or participate in swim-with-dolphins programs.