April 17, 2022 – 2:24 p.m. look
by Marisa Caligiuri
A dolphin attack at the Miami Seaquarium sparks horror around the world. A recording of a dolphin show in which the sea mammal suddenly attacks its handler is circulating online. Residents are screaming as they realize how serious the situation is. The coach manages to get out of the pool just in time. A dolphin protector now explains in an interview with RTL why this attack does not surprise her.
Are dolphins kept in tanks that are way too small at the Seaquarium?
Sundance is 23 years old and has lived her entire life at the Miami Seaquarium. Again and again the marine mammal must give shows with its trainers. Last Saturday, however, Sundance attacked his coach. Particularly dramatic, children also watch this scene. The Miami Seaquarium has long been criticized for its cruelty to animals.
The park would repeatedly violate animal protection law. The animals are probably kept in far too small tanks and the living conditions are comparable to a prison. Dolphin protector Verena Platt-Till of the “Society for the Rescue of Dolphins eV” explained to RTL: “Dolphins are highly developed social animals that cannot be kept in captivity in a species-appropriate way, because the basic natural behavioral requirements of animals cannot meet the situation.” Additionally, captive dolphins would not display their normal behavioral repertoire.
In dolphinariums or therapy centers around the world, one would feel as if one could swim with dolphins without hesitation. The fact that marine mammals are not fluff, but rather predators, that is, predators with complex demands, is ignored, continues the dolphin ecologist.
Dolphin expert: “Animals are sedated with drugs”
The expert points out that captive dolphins are often thrown together in a disorderly fashion. This does not correspond to natural life. The animals would have no way to escape the stress. “Aggressions occur and marine mammals sometimes injure each other,” explains the expert. As a result, the animals in these dolphinariums are sedated with sedatives, according to Verena Platt-Till in the RTL interview.
She’s rather surprised that these incidents don’t happen much more often when you imagine how sea mammals must live or how they are kept. “Their tanks are often not big enough. The American standard prescribes nine meters in length and a depth of 1.80 meters and is therefore far too small.” In the wild, dolphins can dive up to 600 meters and swim up to 100 kilometers, depending on the species.
In addition to aggressiveness, dolphins often develop stereotypes and behavioral problems, continues the animal rights activist. “It also includes those hard shoving or pushing, as you can see in the video. This pattern of behavior is also often found in therapy centers.” There, marine mammals are permanently exposed to human contact.
Seaquarium Review: Chlorinated Water Attacks Dolphins’ Skin
Their diet is also not species-appropriate, according to Verena Platt-Till. “Marine mammals get dead fish, which must be doused with water and mixed with vitamins and other additives to ensure an adequate supply.” The water in which they swim is enriched with chlorine and attacks the dolphin’s skin.
Especially in such facilities, which serve to amuse tourists, animals must “perform” at all times. But dolphins also need rest and sleeping retreats. Their sleep-wake cycle follows different rules than humans.
The incident at the Miami Sea Aquarium is not an isolated case, according to the dolphin ecologist. “There is no proper attitude in captivity.” Your organization demands that this torment for dolphins around the world finally end. So that dolphins can simply live in peace in their natural habitat.
The Miami Seaquarium talks about “conservation and care”
The Miami Seaquarium paints a different image of itself on its website. We talk about “making the world a better place”, “cleaning up the beaches” and paying full attention to the “care” of animals. “Everything we do comes back to the key principles of conservation and care,” he says. However, Delfin Sundance’s aggressive behavior clearly shows that this is not successful enough.