On November 5, 2021, Expedia announced on Twitter: “We recently adjusted our animal welfare policy. As a result, attractions and activities that involve performances by or interactions with dolphins and other cetaceans will no longer be available on our sites.”  The announcement was a major victory for animal-rights activists.

Organizations like World Animal Protection and One Green Planet petitioned Expedia heavily in 2019 and 2020, and important public figures like Carrie Johnson (Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wife) and Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of Jaques Cousteau) spoke out publicly against attractions involving captive dolphins, whales, and other marine animals.  All of this, of course, came on the heels of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which highlighted SeaWorld’s cruelty to captive orcas and tanked SeaWorld’s profits by 84% between 2014 and 2015.

Dolphin shows are cruel—not just in and of themselves, but because, by definition, they require holding dolphins in captivity.  Many dolphins die simply from the stress of being captured.  In captivity, they are confined to pools that are thousands of times smaller than their natural ecosystems. And like most captive animals, captive dolphins are forced to breed and separated from their young.

 

At present, international tourist venues are still keeping and exploiting over 3,000 captive dolphins for entertainment.  But once a single travel agency takes action to protect animals, there is precedent for other travel agencies to follow suit.  In 2014, for example, when Intrepid Travel officially stopped elephant riding on all Intrepid trips, it spurred over 50 other travel agencies to follow suit.  With Expedia—not just a travel agency but a major travel agency—taking the lead to shun dolphin shows, there is momentum driving other agencies to follow suit.  You can sign this petition to encourage travel agencies to cut ties with the dolphin industry.

To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:

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