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Anti-captivity statement by Rick O`Barry

There are hundreds of captive dolphins scattered around the world. They can be found in zoos, roadside shows, amusement parks, dolphinariums, traveling sea circuses, shopping centers and even a discotheque and a gambling casino. As long as there is a paying audience to sustain the profits made from keeping dolphins captive, more will be captured from the wild, and captive dolphin breeding programs will intensify.

Some dolphins were born in captivity. They have been confined within the same barren walls of a concrete tank all their lives. They think the roof is the sky and have never experienced the simplest elements of nature, such as the natural rhythm of the sea, the ocean currents, the sunshine and the rain. They will never swim in a straight line for as long as they desire; nor will they ever be able to use their speed, intelligence, sonar and amazing foraging abilities. They were created in a sterile and unnatural environment for our own amusement and have no positive social redeeming value. To call them "ambassadors" for their wild co-species is simply an obviously desperate attempt at sanitizing the commercial exploitation of these animals.

Dolphins have evolved over more than 50 millions years and have adapted perfectly to life in the ocean. They are free- ranging, social, intelligent and sonic wild creatures; exhibiting evidence of self-awareness and a highly developed emotional sense. Captivity permanently separates them from the three most important aspects of their lives: Their pod members, their world of sound and their ability to swim freely. Confinement of dolphins does represent a form of education, but it’s a form of bad education in that it teaches millions of people that it is permissible to abuse nature.    

It is our belief that neither entertainment, so-called education, research, nor dolphin-assisted-therapy can justify the capture, confinement, training or captive breeding of dolphins.

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