The serious issue of cetacean captivity blew up in the public spotlight after the release of the critically-acclaimed documentary Blackfish. Although the focus of the film was on the giant corporation SeaWorld, whales and dolphins are kept in captivity in inhumane conditions in all types of facilities around the world.

In the basement under a Best Western hotel in Dilijan, Armenia, there is a swimming pool that has become the “tank” for two captive dolphins who are used to draw in visitors. Yes, a swimming pool. The shallow end is a mere two feet deep, the deepest is only eight feet, and the pool is about half the size of an Olympic-sized pool. The dolphins, who would naturally be swimming vast expanses of ocean waves with their pods, can do nothing but pace back and forth from one end of the pool to the other.

When confronting the facility about the inhumane conditions the animals are kept in, activists were met with generic replies that “experts” are present and that the dolphins are used for dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT.) However, the dolphins have been seen performing tricks for tourists and there is no evidence that they are involved with DAT. And even if so, the chlorinated pool is no place for the dolphins, who could suffer from severe eye infections and deafness as a result of the chlorine, in addition to zoochosis and a host of other ailments associated with wild animals kept in captivity.

A petition has been set up to free these dolphins and hopefully rehabilitate them to the point that they can successfully return to the wild. Please take a moment to sign the petition to help free these dolphins from their life of spectacle and misery!

There is great power in numbers, so please make sure to share this with your network to spread awareness and support for this important cause!

Image Source: Flickr