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In case any more evidence were needed that dolphins do not belong in captivity – and the conditions of a life inside a tank can never satisfy their needs – here it is.
On their blog, RWS wrote, “We are extremely saddened by the passing of our dolphin, Sharmila. Sharmila left us on 11 May 2014. We are conducting tests to confirm the exact cause of death. Prior medical tests indicated that she was healthy. We are closely monitoring all our animals, and as always, no effort or resources will be spared in ensuring the health and well-being of all our dolphins at Dolphin Island.”
Hmm…if that’s true, RWS, then why are your dolphins dying at such an alarming rate?
In 2011, two dolphins who had been captured for the resort during the infamous Solomon Islands dolphin hunt died. This tragedy was followed by the sudden death of a ten-year-old dolphin named Wen Wen a year later.
Jason Baker, vice-president of international operations for PETA Asia, said that Sharmila’s death “should prompt RWS and other resorts to stop treating marine animals like hotel amenities.”
Calling for a ban on all commercial swim-with-the-dolphins operations, he added, “Dolphins used in ‘swim with’ programs and other exhibits are far removed from all that is natural to them. Separated from their families and deprived of their natural instincts to forage for food, explore, raise families and communicate with other members of their own species, dolphins quickly become bored, frustrated and depressed. Many go insane. Their difficulty in adapting to this alien world can be seen in marine mammals’ dramatically diminished life expectancies in captivity.”
Meanwhile, Singapore’s Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) have asked the pertinent question, “When is enough enough? Four have already died. Help speak up for the remaining 23 wild-caught dolphins. Urge Resorts World to work with ACRES toward rehabilitating and releasing them back into the vast open oceans.”
If you want to help the other wild-caught dolphins of RWS, check out ACRES’ Facebook page, and be sure to sign and share this Change.org petition, calling on the Singaporean government to set the animals free.
Image source: rum_den_1986/Flickr