Don’t be fooled by a smile

Dolphin entertainment is extreme animal cruelty masquerading as innocent family fun

Visiting a dolphin show is the third most common tourism activity involving wild animals

There are 336 dolphin entertainment venues – known as dolphinariums – in 54 countries across the world, holding 3,029 captive dolphins.

Each one of these intelligent individuals is cruelly imprisoned. The average dolphin enclosure is less than 200,000 times the size of the animal’s natural habitat range.

Contrived and full of chlorine, these tiny tanks come nowhere close to simulating the complexity of the world’s oceans and coasts.

Unfortunately, despite public awareness and campaigning, the industry is growing in some parts of the world. The number of ocean theme parks in China jumped from 39 in 2015 to 76 in early 2019.

Alongside China, Mexico, USA, Spain, Russia, Japan and the Caribbean are all dolphin cruelty hotspots.

Read our report, Behind the smile.

Sign the Expedia Group petition

Wild dolphins have a home range of 100 square kilometres, sometimes even more. In captivity, they barely have metres

Travel company Expedia Group is driving the corporate greed of dolphinariums and helping to keep dolphins captive.

Tell the company to stop promoting and selling tickets to SeaWorld and other cruel dolphinariums now.

Sign the Expedia Group petitionAct now

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Demeaning tricks dolphins are trained to perform during shows include:

  • pulling their trainers through the water by their fins
  • having trainers ‘surf’ on their back
  • propelling trainers out of the water by the dolphin’s snout
  • leaving the water to spin in circles
  • wearing hats or oversized glasses

All these tricks are performed to music as loud as 110 dB, similar to the volume of a rock concert.

Both wild capture and captive breeding are cruel

In the wild, dolphin calves can stay with their mothers for up to six years

The stress of being caught in the wild can be fatal for dolphins.

Bottlenose dolphins are six times more likely to die immediately after capture from the wild.

To justify captive breeding, most venues misleadingly claim to be involved in conservation.

In reality, captive breeding is just a way produce more animals who can be exploited for tourist entertainment.

As little as 5-10% of dolphinariums, aquariums and zoos are involved in substantial conservation efforts, and the amount spent on is a fraction of the income they generate – often less than 1%.

What will happen to the current generation of captive dolphins?

Sadly, most captive dolphins would not survive if released back into the wild.

We’re urging venues to transition their business models away from animal cruelty immediately, and no longer breed or capture dolphins.

We’re urging venues to keep existing animals in the best possible care – and where possible, move them to a genuine seaside sanctuary.

Moving the travel industry

Travel companies have the power to make this the last generation of dolphins in captivity.

They can inform tourists about the impact their choices have on dolphins and other animals, and encourage ethical trips instead. They can take away the incentive for dolphin venues to breed and capture more animals.

Join us in telling Expedia Group to stop promoting and selling tickets to cruel dolphinariums.

Sign the Expedia Group petitionAct now

Tick both boxes to hear from us:

You can unsubscribe at any time here.

World Animal Protection will not swap or sell your information with any third party. If you’d prefer to stop hearing from us, or change the way we communicate, you can do so at any time by calling 0800 316 9966 or emailing hello@worldanimalprotection.org.uk.

For information on how we use your details, and how we keep your details safe, please read our privacy policy.

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