Hawks Cay Resort has several dolphins that it keeps in small sea pens for it's 'Swim with the Dolphins' program. These dolphins are kept in inhumane and unnatural living conditions to be exploited for human entertainment.
As shown in the documentary "The Cove," dolphins that end up in SWTD programs are often caught under the most horrifying of circumstances. In Japan, tens of thousands of dolphins are rounded up into a small cove. Trainers come to pick out which dolphins they want for various aquatic centers. The dolphins are then rounded up as the other members of their pod are slaughtered. Not all capture techniques are so abusive, but they are all always traumatic for the dolphins, often causing a fatal condition known as capture stress or capture myopathy. According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals, of those dolphins that survive the capture and are brought into captivity, 53% will die within their first 3 months in a tank. Captive breeding programs, on the other hand, avoid the trauma of capture, but often do little to ensure that capture of wild dolphins ends.
Wild dolphins swim upwards of 40 miles a day with their family pods, hunt for their own food, and spend only 20% of their time at the surface of the ocean. On the other hand, captive dolphins swim in circles, are fed fish already caught and killed for them, are no longer part of their family pod - and dolphins are extremely social animals - and spend around 80% of their time at the surface. The environment, no matter how clean, goes against a dolphin's basic instincts and is usually not nearly stimulating enough to keep the animals from suffering stress and boredom.
While some aquatic centers have breeding programs and express the desire to promote dolphin conservation, the fact is dolphins are taken in large numbers from the wild to support SWTD programs. The practice is ultimately inhumane, which is why Brazil, Italy, and the U.K. have banned interactive marine-mammal programs.
Please help these dolphins and stop the resort from continuing this program that supports the exploitation of dolphins worldwide.
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