Monday, October 9, 2017

POTD: Dolphin Discovery

From 2017 01 29 Caribbean Cruise

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Dolphin Discovery in Cayman Islands. I don't know what to call it — an outdoor aquarium, an amusement park, a prison for animals? The park itself tries hard to emphasize its ecological bona fides ("The only one that loves dolphins more than you is Dolphin Discovery"). On the other hand, not everyone agrees that things are so good.

Dolphin Discovery is the largest owner and operator of dolphin parks in the world with over 24 parks in nine countries. According to the About Us section of their website, they are a company with an "ecological conscience" that promotes a "responsible relationship" with marine life as well as conservation. At Dolphin Discovery, you can pay to swim with dolphins, and for a premium price, a captive dolphin will pull you through the water as you hold onto their fins! Each of their dolphin experiences also includes a "kiss" along with "hugs and caresses" — you know, that sounds a lot like when we were kids and told to hug and kiss our relatives hello at family gatherings. It’s probably even less fun for the dolphins who spend their entire lives in tanks that are much too small, forced to perform for food, and have no choice but to live in a highly stressful environment.
On the other, other hand, "One Green Planet" didn't report mistreatment more than the obvious fact that the dolphins are kept in captivity at all. A quick Google search failed to turn up any other negative stories, either. So maybe it's one of the better zoos.

In any case, it was a quick stop on our private tour of Grand Cayman. We didn't give the park any money, not even an admission fee, but I did snap some photos. My bad, maybe?

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