When Simon Cowell discovered that a segment featuring contestants for the U.K. version of his hit show, “XTra Factor” was taped at a dolphin show, he responded swiftly by yanking the bit before it could air.

Outcry began when a teaser aired last week, advertising the group of artists mentored by Mel B. swimming with dolphins at Delphinus Riviera Maya and doing tricks with them.  An online petition was created by Donna Ilife-Pollard and garnered over 5000 signatures in 24 hours to urge Cowell, a judge and the show’s executive producer, to pull the segment. Signatures have since topped 8,300.

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“Dolphins do not enjoy being held captive or starved to perform,” Pollard wrote, “this is why they have been known to commit suicide.”

Concerned viewers also took to Twitter to voice their concerns and anger over the show’s segment, using hashtags like #captivitykills and #tweets4dolphins.

Dolphin shows feature dolphins that have either been taken from the wild or bred in captivity and trained to do tricks. They’re often kept in small enclosures with little stimulation unless they’re performing and exposed to disease and injury when required to participate in “Swimming with Dolphins” type attractions. Dolphins are incredibly intelligent animals and these stressors can result in decreased lifespan, “zoochosis” and even self harm.

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Cowell responded quickly to the outcry, pulling the segment from the show and assuring viewers through Twitter that it would not be airing.

 

Cowell, who has participated with PETA in campaigns to raise awareness for leaving dogs in hot cars and the cruelties of fur, went on to let everyone know exactly why he pulled the clip.

 

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Bravo, Mr. Cowell! Way to step up for animals in captivity!

 

Lead Image Credit: her.ie

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