I Thought JoJo Said NO to Captive Dolphins

“Never doubt that a small group of committed, thoughtful citizens can change the world. It is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead.

Okay ya’ll, I need you to listen. A company called Dolphin Cove is trying to plant their own Swim With Dolphins program right here on Provodenciales, Turks and Caicos around Discovery Bay. The land has already been bought by Dolphin Cove and a man named Stafford Burrowes, who is the Chairman and chief executive of the company.

This is where I need help. Sure, sometimes I’m just an 18 year old girl who likes to vacation to Turks and Caicos because my friends are there and I like to sit on the beach with a pina colada. How can I change the world? But, I’m going to try. Right now, I’m still an 18 year old girl who likes to vacation to the Turks and Caicos, but I am one with a WILD animal in my mind. They need your help, and so do I.

First of all, I can’t even wrap my head around the concept of captive animals. Absolutely awful. And before I start, I want to point out that while I would love to see every aquarium, dolphinarium, zoo, etc, crumble to the ground, I’m starting small with just Turks and Caicos. It completely boggles my mind the Turks And Caicos could possibly be home of a captive dolphin facility. Throw in that we are talking about an island where their mere motto is “BEAUTIFUL BY NATURE?”  AND on an island where there national mascot is a…you guessed it…a DOLPHIN. But, I guess people just think that is a funny case of irony.

Dolphins are WILD animals. I figure that we should keep in them in the wild. I’m not sure why the argument has to go any further, but unfortunately it does. I did a little research, and I’d like to educate everyone.

Dolphins are very sociable animals; they typically travel the ocean in packs. This is also because when a dolphin mates, they are mated for life. Everytime a dolphin is taken into captivity, it is being taken away from it’s mate, offspring, or friends. I know JoJo is a national reserve on this island, but how does Dolphin Cove know if the dolphin they are capturing isn’t  JoJo’s friend, offspring, or worse, mate? They don’t. And that’s awful enough.afterlight

Obviously, dolphins have the entire ocean to explore. “In the wild, dolphins can swim as much as 160km a day, have home ranges as large as 300km and dive to depths as deep as 60 meters” (bornfree.org).  This Dolphin Cove facility cannot accommodate to those kind of measures for these dolphins.The dolphins’ living space and lifestyle is stripped away from them and they are forced to live in captivity for the entertainment of humans. Although the dolphins try as best they can to adapt to their new confined environment, the majority of them develop behavioral problems, diseases, and high mortality rates. Most of the dolphins even die from the developed illness. Not one captive dolphin facility can convince me that “the dolphins are treated nicely.” No matter how nicely they treat them, no matter how many pieces of fish they give them, no matter how many people clap and scream for them, the sole purpose of the facility is the exact thing that kills these animals every day. They are making money for these animals to die. For our entertainment.

This last point I learned breaks my heart to the point where I had to stop reading, and I don’t even know if I can type it. These dolphins are captured and brought into the cove. They didn’t just swim up to the pool one day and think “hey lets check this out!”. Most of the time, baby dolphins are ripped from nets while the adult dolphins are slaughtered right in front of them. And that is putting it politely.

And maybe everyone already knew all of that. I really didn’t, but hey, like I said, I’m just a girl who likes to sit on the beach with a pina colada. But my question is, if everyone knows all of that, why are they okay with it? If you’re not animal lover, you probably wouldn’t pay to see dolphins anyway. But if you are, why would you pay to watch them die?

dolphin blog

from The Dolphin Project, photo adapted from Don Stark

I just don’t understand, really. In 1993, The United Kingdom shut down their last dolphinarium, and just this year India prohibited the keeping of any cetacean in captivity, along with naming dolphins “Non Human Persons” (wildlifeextra). Those aren’t the only two countries that have done so, and to the right I have put a list of dolphinariums that have never opened or have been closed down, from The Dolphin Project.  There has to be a reason why these things are being shut down left and right. I’m not sure why Turks and Caicos wants to try.dolphin blog 2

I just have so many questions for Mr.Burrowes and the people who are pro-dolphinariums on The Turks and Caicos Islands. How can you open such a thing on an island who prides themselves with “beautiful by nature”?  How would you feel if you woke up one day in a glass cage and everyone was watching you suffer? Please Mr.Burrowes and Turks and Caicos, wake up and smell the coffee (it can’t be hard- theres enough rum in it).

I part all of you with one important question.

If you knew dolphins were literally dying for your entertainment, would you still support it?

Please, read and share this, and help keep Turks and Caicos beautiful by nature, because captivity is not.

 

-all information found from bornfree.org and wildlifeextra.com-

 

 

 

 

 

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