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JCAT
09-06-2007, 06:37
Going to ramble a bit.

Iíve been in Orlando this week and my wife wanted to hang with a movie star. Not any of the current ones, which I have little use for, but an older one.

Cindy as heís called in the movie Jaws 3, is actually named Capricorn. A resident of Discovery Cove in Orlando and a Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. Capricorn has to be the biggest Iíve ever seen at 700lbs. This dolphin is flippin huge! The ones Iíve seen in the wild, around the South Carolina coast, are small compared to him.

Now, some of you are probably wondering why a diver is posting anything about Discovery Cove since there is zero diving. The answer is my wife, as a young girl, was in a near drowning situation off of the coast and Iíve been working at helping her overcome her fears since weíve been married. She doesnít dive, does great in a pool, but only goes into the ocean if Iím very close by. She has learned to snorkel at some of the diving sites I visit in the Keys.

Ok, back to the dolphins. I am a fence sitter when it comes to animals in captivity. Iím not a member of PETA and certainly think some animals are very delicious. However, I donít like to hunt, but learned how to growing up in the rural south. Most of the time I was dog, since I could not sit still in a stand for any length of time.

I worry about animals in captivity, especially the killer whales at Sea World. These animals are basically swimming in a pool, which IMHO, would seem mind numbing. Doing laps in a pool is the height of boredom. I would go insane if forced to do this for years.

At Discovery Cove, the dolphin habitat is huge and filled with artificial reefs. Sand, plants, and other dolphins make up this habitat. I saw that the dolphins are well cared for and interact with each other. Possibly not so boring for them as a Sea World pool appears to be.

So, tell me what your thoughts areÖ

gtjason2000
09-06-2007, 08:13
I have read that dolphins in captivity don't live as long as wild dolphins. For creatures that may or may not be more intelligent than ourselves, swimming around in a tank would be torture. Also it is depressing the way killer whales' dorsal fins fall over when they are put into captivity. I think zoos for the most part are ok especially for herbivores but things like sea world I do not like.

Subaqua
09-06-2007, 08:24
I think that no animals should be kept in captivity unless if it's for their own protection, ie if they are too injured and would not survive in the wild, they need care or maybe in the case of endangered species, but even in that case they should be in a place that represent well their own habitat. The only reason why people keep dolphins in captivity is to make $$$$$. I just cannot agree with that.

thesmoothdome
09-06-2007, 08:27
I don't have time to post a lengthy response to this thread, but off the top of my head I do think we have to remember that most zoo's and wildlife parks today are focused on animal husbandry and the preservation of the endagered species. At the "World Famous San Diego Zoo" we just had a giant panda birth, have successfully bred condors, and have many other accomplishments that escape me right now (come on it's 6:20 in the morning).

I'm not a fan of big creatures swimming, pacing, wandering around boring enclosures. It can't be good for their health or mental well being, but we're also in danger of losing some of these animals. Without intervention, we will and we know ALL governments aren't going to help curb things like whaling. What's the answer?

greyzen
09-06-2007, 08:52
I don't have time to post a lengthy response to this thread, but off the top of my head I do think we have to remember that most zoo's and wildlife parks today are focused on animal husbandry and the preservation of the endagered species. At the "World Famous San Diego Zoo" we just had a giant panda birth, have successfully bred condors, and have many other accomplishments that escape me right now (come on it's 6:20 in the morning).

I'm not a fan of big creatures swimming, pacing, wandering around boring enclosures. It can't be good for their health or mental well being, but we're also in danger of losing some of these animals. Without intervention, we will and we know ALL governments aren't going to help curb things like whaling. What's the answer?

My thought's exactly

Osprey
09-06-2007, 08:54
Like I said in another post:

"There is about as much educational
benefit to be gained in studying dolphins
in captivity as there would be
studying mankind by only observing
prisoners held in solitary confinement "
- Jacques Cousteau

Charlotte Smith
09-06-2007, 09:20
Like I said in another post:

"There is about as much educational
benefit to be gained in studying dolphins
in captivity as there would be
studying mankind by only observing
prisoners held in solitary confinement "
- Jacques Cousteau

Nice Quote.....

scuba Widow
09-06-2007, 09:21
Even though I do agree that swimming around in a swimming pool maybe boring and mind numbing for the marine life. I have to agree with smoothdome that the parks and zoo are very interested in preserving the species that they house and protect them from the non animal lovers of the world and in some cases the animal world. I know this will not be a popular statement, but I also believe that if we want to take the stance of no animals in captivity we would have to release all domesticated animals living as pets into a very cold and cruel world. With that been said, I would not want to see an animal that as lived their entire life in a controlled environment turned out and left to fend for themselves. I work for a vet. and have seen first hand what can happen to an animal that has been left as a stray or abused and neglected. Domesticated animals and wildlife are one in the same when they enter the world and have to be taught and trained to survive in life, either by the animal kingdom or by humanity.

Osprey
09-06-2007, 11:21
Widow- I agree that animals born in captivity do no good in the wild, since most will not have the proper skills to survive. I think the bigger issue is the animals that were brought into zoos for the single purpose of entertainment, not conservation. Especially the way the wild orcas are caught... holy sh*t.

scuba Widow
09-06-2007, 14:08
[quote=Osprey;46054]Widow- I agree that animals born in captivity do no good in the wild, since most will not have the proper skills to survive. I think the bigger issue is the animals that were brought into zoos for the single purpose of entertainment, not conservation. Especially the way the wild orcas are caught... holy sh*t.[/quote

I understand that point, but I also think that we cannot just leave the issue to the marine life...I know that my min pin gives me many hours of entertainment and in a sense he lives in captivity. So if we are going to debate the animals in captivity issue we have to look at the animal kingdom as a whole. I had friends that worked for Sea World in Orlando and they said that a lot of the animals that are entertainers were was injured and nursed back to health and it was felt that they couldn't survive back in the ocean for various reasons, so they were kept and some were bred to help continue the species.

We also have to look at the issue of human population and the over running of natural habitats for the animal world. As the world becomes more and more populate and technology takes over, there is less and less room for the animals to live and be safe in the wild. So where are they going to be able to live when humans take completely over? We live in East Tennessee and it is natural to see a deer beside the highway they are not scared of us anymore so much so that they are in danger. For instance, we have a baby fox at the clinic where I work that is going to lose it's front leg because of a car running over it up in the mountains in his natural habitat. His other front leg is severely damaged and will never be the same.

I think that places like Sea World and zoos do offer some educational values as well as entertainment. They give people especially children a chance to actually see and touch, but above all learn about the various critters.

thor
09-06-2007, 14:48
Like I said in another post:

"There is about as much educational
benefit to be gained in studying dolphins
in captivity as there would be
studying mankind by only observing
prisoners held in solitary confinement "
- Jacques Cousteau


I spent some time in Africa several years ago, and I was able to spend a week on Safari. What amazed me was how different the animals acted in their natural habitat, as opposed to what I had previously seen in Zoos. I saw a pride of Lion hunting at night. They stalked a Wildebeest. They were so sleek and silent, completely blending into the grass, as the color of their fur is the exact color of the grass. It was amazing to watch. I also saw a lot of Elephants, whose hide color is the exact color of trees. You wouldn't think that an elephant would escape notice, but as soon as they went behind some of the thicket, they disappeared. You certainly heard them. Sometimes you would hear them, and then they would appear as if from nowhere. Simply amazing. It is extremely hard for me to step foot in a Zoo now, to see some of these animals pacing back and forth in a small cage, or doing circus tricks. I realize that some Zoos are better than others, and that some Zoos or Aquariums are helping wounded animals, endangered species, etc. , but it is still depressing to watch.

Osprey
09-06-2007, 19:46
Widow- I think you're missing my point. I am not saying all animals need to be freed, nor am I claiming domesticated animals as fit for the wild at any time. I am more worried about animals being taken and exploited for the purpose of profit. There have been a lot of animals caught for the sole purpose of sticking them in a cage, but not to nurse them back to health, nor to preserve the species.

I have no problem with facilities who are saving animals after they have been sick, or injured, or have their homes destroyed. Without them, casualties in the animal world would sky rocket. Here in St. Louis, we are breeding African Bongos to go back to Africa, where they are extremely endangered. I can't chaste them for that, they are doing the animals a service. The World Bird Sanctuary here also takes in dozens of hawks, eagles, owls, falcons, and kestrels that have been tossed from the nest, ran into by cars, shot, or otherwise harmed. Sometimes they can be released, sometimes not. But they weren't taken, they were simply victims.

Osprey
09-06-2007, 19:52
I would also like to note that since the internet can be hard to read- I'd like to clarify I am not trying to be snooty, just stating my personal opinion :) No hard feelings on either side of the fence

JCAT
09-06-2007, 21:07
It is a hard thing to discuss. On the one hand, Sea World has a Manatee rescue team and preserve. I witnessed several that had been struck by boat props and nursed back to health. Being from South Carolina, this hits close to home because in the winter, they come into our rivers to stay warm. You can snorkle with them, but they tend to not like divers bubbles too much.

On the other hand, you have John Haldane, who used animals to test his ideas about Caissons disease. We know this as DCS. He would subject rats, goats, pigs, ect. to rapid decompression and then perform autopsies in order to figure out what exactly killed them. Haldane is the father of the first proven dive tables.

I'm glad everyone is expressing their ideas and thoughts about this. I think that it is a important subject to discuss, especially as friends of the sea if you will.

Heading back to SC tomorrow.

Osprey
09-06-2007, 22:19
Totally, that's what makes it so hard. I know there ARE people who want every caged thing to be set free, but it simply isn't reasonable. And poor manatees.. I know they just came off the endangered list, but I think they need just as much help as they ever did, including the facilities to bring them up to par.

scuba Widow
09-06-2007, 23:10
I would also like to note that since the internet can be hard to read- I'd like to clarify I am not trying to be snooty, just stating my personal opinion :) No hard feelings on either side of the fence

I agree no hard feelings here either...I too am stating my personal opinion.

Osprey
09-06-2007, 23:17
Widow- glad to know :) You've been a joy to talk with on this board

ScubaGir1
09-06-2007, 23:18
This is one animal I do not think should be in captivity though: http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/conservation/whalesharkprogram.aspx

The whale shark :( Someone I know when to that aquarium, and said they had 3 in their tank. I just can't imagine a tank being big enough to house whale sharks appropriately....

scuba Widow
09-06-2007, 23:30
Widow- glad to know :) You've been a joy to talk with on this board

I am so happy to be part of a group that is so accepting of a non diver...which we are going to work on...I have really enjoyed talking with everybody here.

gtjason2000
09-07-2007, 08:59
This is one animal I do not think should be in captivity though: http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/conservation/whalesharkprogram.aspx

The whale shark :( Someone I know when to that aquarium, and said they had 3 in their tank. I just can't imagine a tank being big enough to house whale sharks appropriately....

I have been there and would say the tank is definitely big enough. Now if they have the intelligence of cetaceans maybe I would say it wasn't big enough to "play" in.

Osprey
09-07-2007, 09:03
Actually their whale sharks keep dying as well. They'll start not eating, and then start to go into death throes and.. you know how it ends.

I would say they don't need more than one in a tank, if they really insist on keeping one, since I don't recall whale sharks schooling..

Osprey
09-07-2007, 09:05
I am so happy to be part of a group that is so accepting of a non diver...which we are going to work on...I have really enjoyed talking with everybody here.

Even if you were a perpetual nervous wreck around the water, I don't think anyone would turn their backs on you. It's not for everybody! But I am glad it's something you're willing to look into. That says a lot! And I am sure Finflippers is happy as well

scuba Widow
09-07-2007, 09:13
Thanks Osprey!

DevilDiver
09-07-2007, 09:17
Here is some info if you are interested. I went to one of these shows one time with a family group. I left feeling like crap.....

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society argues that the basic needs of dolphins cannot be met in captivity and that they suffer extreme physical and mental distress, which can result in aggressive behaviour as well as a lower survival rate and higher infant mortality than their wild counterparts.

Some of the larger marine parks, such as Sea World in Florida, boast of large pools in which their marine mammals are kept. However, even in the largest facilities, a captive dolphin has access to less than one-10,000th of 1 per cent of its normal habitat size.
"Dolphins are free ranging, intelligent and highly complex marine mammals. The vastness and biological diversity of the open sea cannot be duplicated in captivity," said Mr O'Barry, who now works as a marine mammal specialist with the French animal protection organisation One Voice, "They belong in the oceans, not playing the clown and suffering for our amusement. People who are truly interested in dolphins should go dolphin watching instead."

http://www.cdnn.info/news/eco/dolphin_show_250190.gif

IN CAPTIVITY
There are an estimated 1,000 bottlenose dolphins in captivity worldwide.
Cetaceans have been kept in captivity since the 1860s.
The first documented case of keeping bottlenose dolphins in captivity was in 1913. The New York Museum displayed five of these; they had all died within 21 months of captivity.
Cuba is the biggest exporter of dolphins, selling 82 between 1995 and 2000.
In the United States more than 2,300 bottlenose dolphins were captured for display purposes between 1972 and 1994.

Osprey
09-07-2007, 11:31
The aquarium in Tampa actually doesn't keep dolphins, they take people into the bay to watch them ride the currents instead

If you want to know the history of orcas in captivity, I found a small website that has some info. I generally read books about it, so it's hard to find good info online

http://www.inkokomo.com/dolphin/orca.html This one is outdated, some of the parks mentioned have shut down

Lolita is probably the most famous of all orcas as far as being mistreated goes, here are sites explaining her situation, plus a documentary- 11 awards won for it

http://www.miamiseaprison.com/lolita.htm
http://www.slavetoentertainment.com/