While animal lovers in the U.S. are already engaged in numerous battles against the captive animal industry – including campaigns against SeaWorld and initiatives aimed at freeing captive animals like orcas Lolita and Tilikum – the fight does not begin and end in the U.S. In fact, pressure is raining down on the captivity industry from all over the world.
Most recently, a group of 20 passionate animal advocates from the Peruvian Association of Protection of Animals and the Scientific Organization for the Conservation of Aquatic Animals (ORCA) came together to stage a protest for dolphins Yaku and Wayra on La Herradura beach in Peru.
Yaku and Wayra first arrived in Peru from Mexico in 1997. Both dolphins were wild-caught and have spent most of their lives languishing in captivity.
From 1997 to 2010, Yaku and Wayra were housed in San Isidro’s Hotel and Casino Los Delfines, where they were “usually kept in glass pools next to the tables where people [sat] and [watched] while eating,” as described in a photo album post on Earthlings’ Facebook page.
Today, Yaku is 26 years old and Wayra is 22, Peru this Week reports, and they are now living in “two small pools” at a poorly equipped dolphinarium in La Herradura. The pools are connected and each is about 23 feet in diameter and close to 32 feet deep.
Seeing the lack of care being provided to these two dolphins, the group of 20 protestors “gathered to demand that the dolphins be transferred to a dolphinarium in a foreign country, and also that the law allowing them to be kept in captivity be modified,” Peru this Week reports.
“[In the case of the dolphins] like it happens in other countries, live capture and importation of living species for captivity must be prohibited. Only that way can we avoid more cases like that of Yaku and Wayra,” said Stefan Austermühle, executive director of the association Mundo Azul.
While the battle to free Yaku and Wayra from their poor conditions has raged since 2010, Peruvian animal advocates are not giving up. Currently, they are running a petition campaign to raise more awareness about the issues surrounding dolphin captivity. You can check it out and sign it right here.
Lead image source: Earthlings / Facebook