All cetaceans (Whales, dolphins and porpoises) have highly developed social skills, self-awareness very similar to that of a human. The pod has a very close and strong emotional ties to each other as humans do. The pod structure varies in different species but all whales and dolphins work together in taking care of their young and sick. The emotional ties are so strong that members of a pod will follow a stranded whale's distress call and strand themselves also. We have proof of that in so many instances of beached whales all over the world.
It is because of the close similarities cetaceans exhibit with the humans that makes it so much harder to bear the atrocities committed against them. Cetaceans are intelligent, sentient beings and should NOT be confined to small concrete tanks for lifetime. If Sea World really and truly cares for these animals, as it professes, it should set them all free, back to the oceans where they belong. It is really a sorry state of affairs that human beings still rely on animals for their amusement in this modern era!
There is absolutely nothing educational about seeing captive, starved Cetaceans forced to perform tricks for the sake of food! Everyone should read 'Rekindling the Waters- the truth about swimming with dolphins' by Leah Lemieux, then they would know EXACTLY how these animals feel, stuck in small tanks. People will then understand the horror and the unnecessary tragedy that a whole pod of dolphins go through just so that a few of their family can land up in Sea World or Oceanariums around the world for public entertainment! The rest of the pod just perish.
As long as there is a demand for these whales and dolphins by Sea World and other Oceanariums, then there WILL be people around the world trying to make a easy buck. The public who go to see the dolphin and whale shows and Sea World which puts on these shows, are silently endorsing the killing of pods and pods of dolphins. It is a lucrative business for dolphin and whale catchers. These are people with no ethics, who have no compunction about subjecting these innocent, intelligent, defenseless creatures to horrifying ordeal of capture. Who cares how many die and suffer as long as they harvest a few to sell?
If Sea World wants to educate the public about Cetaceans they should make a 3D show about these animals, just like they have a 3D show about Sesame Street characters, instead of having live shows.
There is nothing educational about seeing few captive dolphins swimming round and round in circles in a small pool, when, instead they should out in the open ocean frolicking and playing with their pod members. The dolphins certainly are not eager or interested in human interaction in their captive state. They have no choice but to do what they are forced to do. Given the choice they would prefer to be free in the open ocean and go about their daily normal life, instead of being stuck in a pool.
The public who go to see the dolphin and whale shows and the Sea World are silently endorsing the massacre of pods and pods of dolphins. A whole pod of dolphins undergo unnecessary agony and tragedy so that a few of their pod members end up as exhibits! As long as Sea World and other oceanariums, insist on using dolphins and Orcas to draw crowds, then the massacre will not stop.
In this modern era, with all the technology and video games, is it not high time that we stopped using animals for entertainment? Now, we are better informed and aware that it is not humane or ethical to treat animals as objects or playthings. Animals are sentient beings with emotions and feelings just like humans. So we need to treat them with respect and consideration that they deserve.
We have museums that show 3D movies of Dinosaurs that bring those extinct creatures alive on the screen! Similar shows can be done about dolphins and whales at Sea World and other places and attract the same crowd they are drawing now but WITHOUT putting the live dolphin and whale shows!