dolphins are not for entertainment


Here we have the Malayan tapir and his super-snoot! They were hiding the last few times I visited, as is their right, so I was very excited to see them! This is the largest species of tapir and the only one native to Asia. I noticed that these animals sport disruptive coloration similar to that of the Commerson’s dolphin. The irregular pattern is a form of camouflage that breaks up the shape of the animal within its environment, helping it to hide from predators. They have ANOTHER thing in common with those dolphins. Listening to visitors guess what they are is decent entertainment. According to guests getting their first look, the tapir is in fact an anteater, a pig, a baby elephant, or a hippo. (The tapir’s closest relatives are actually rhinos and horses.) We generally let this go on for a while before we start with the enthusiastic, “Oh, what’s this?! Ah, the sign RIGHT HERE says its a Malayan tapir!!” Cue dusty neurons firing and education in progress!! On a more serious note, please be aware that disruptive coloration can hide tapirs from predators, but not from habitat destruction. Their population has declined over 50% in the last three generations primarily due to habitat loss, placing them at great risk of extinction. Their forest homes are flattened to make way for lucrative palm oil plantations. You can help tapirs and other animals, like orangutans, who are threatened by unsustainable palm oil production by being very careful about the products you buy. I swear it seems like palm oil is in EVERYTHING. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has a great app available for your phone that can help you make good purchasing decisions.


10 ways that YOU can help dolphins and whales in captivity

Have you been educated about captivity, and decided you’re against keeping dolphins in whales captive for our entertainment at their expense? Want to get involved but just don’t know how? These are a few somewhat easy ways to make your impact on the greater fight for getting cetaceans out of captivity, and if you can accomplish just a couple of these tasks, you’re doing a great job of fighting for these intelligent beings. Every single voice matters, only united can we make a big wave.

  1. Get Educated- You may already be educated on why cetaceans don’t fare well in captivity, but you can never be too knowledgable on the subject and there’s new information coming out all the time. Keep researching!
  2. Attend Protests- Peaceful protesting is a great way to get out there and show people that there are real humans out there that are standing up to this abusive practice and want it to end. Not only are you making a statement to the captivity industry, you may be planting a seed to so many people who just happen to come by your protest and learn something new that they may not have ever thought about previously. If there aren’t any protests going on near you, organize one!
  3. Tell Everyone you Know- Make a Facebook status about it. Call your parents and tell them about it. Bring it up in conversation at lunch with your friends. One of your most powerful tools is education, and anyone with compassion who’s educated on the subject will be inclined to not support this industry.
  4. Make Flyers and Put them Up Around Town- Making informational flyers is an awesome way to get the word out even farther than your friend circle. Include a few main points on why cetacean captivity is cruel and include some reference websites to learn more from. Also don’t forget to encourage everyone to boycott marine parks with captive cetaceans!
  5. Write to your Government Leaders- Let your government know that you’re not going to stand for this. Get involved and learn about specific cases of captivity abuse, and tell your leaders in that area about it! Letting your leaders know that this is something on the people’s minds is helpful in getting them to get involved on the issue.
  6. Sign Petitions- While some online petitions aren’t very useful and effective, some really are! Regardless, at least you can say you got involved and took a stand, so sign any dolphin and whale welfare petitions you find that are worth supporting! Also don’t be afraid to start your own petition! The best way to know if a petition is effective is yourself being in charge of it and you ensuring the signatures get to where they need to go.
  7. Boycott!- Boycotting all marine parks with captive cetaceans is key to taking them down where it’s important- money. Also consider boycotting any companies who do business with or openly advertise for these marine parks, so that they may be inclined to stop their support. It’s worked before and it will keep working so long as we keep the pressure on!
  8. Tell the Marine Parks What You Want- Contact these parks and facilities, let them know you don’t support what they’re doing, and let them know they won’t be getting any money from you until they reform their cruel practices. They need to know what the public wants, and it’s up to you to tell them!
  9. Donate to Organizations Helping to Stop Captivity- There are tons of non profits out there that work towards animal welfare and stopping the continued captivity of dolphins and whales, and they need your funding to keep operating! If you can donate any amount to these organizations, you’re funding the fight against this abusive industry.
  10. Get into Online Activism- The internet is an amazing tool for spreading information, and if you want to help get information out to the masses and encourage them to boycott marine parks, try spreading the word through your own website or social media! Always remember to cite sources, present strong and constructive arguments, and network with like minded people along the way!

The Dolphin Readaption Center

Locals living near the Dolphin Rehabilitation Center in Kemujan, Karimun Jawa, are lending their support to the center’s team, who aim to return to the wild dolphins accidentally caught by fishermen or used in the entertainment industry, by getting involved with their programs.

The center is the first permanent facility in the world to rehabilitate and release dolphins back into the wild and was set up to help dolphins illegally captured in the area readapt again to their natural environment.

The initiative comes under the jurisdiction of the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation of the ministry of forestry (PHPA) and is run by the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), named as the official partners of the program.

Local fishermen have been enlisted to help monitor released dolphins by reporting their sightings of those that have been freeze-branded, a method in which a branding iron of a simple symbol is applied with liquid nitrogen to the top of the dolphins’ dorsal fins.

“Every dolphin will get a different logo, and the branding lasts just over a year,” American dolphin expert and program team member Lincoln O’Barry said.

He remarked that since these dolphins would be staying around the area, people would be coming across them and this was an easy way for reporting their sightings. GPS transmitters would also be used to track released dolphins.

We only have one boat, but there are hundreds of fishermen in the area, so when we distribute pictures of the logos to the fishermen, and when they are out there, they’ll be our eyes and ears out on the water, and they can say ‘Yeah, we saw ‘the star’ [dolphin] over here or ‘the moon’ over there’, and that’s an easy way to identify them.”

He said they had briefed all the fishermen and organized them into groups of 30 with one person appointed in the groups for everyone to report their sightings to.

Most dolphins that end up in fishermen’s nets or are captured for the entertainment trade in Indonesia have come from Karimun Jawa where there is a resident pod. The problem of widespread dolphin captures from the Karimun Jawa area caught the attention of the directorate general of forest protection and nature conservation of the forestry ministry (PHPA) last year, and JAAN was approached for help in returning them to the wild. JANN called in the O’Barry’s to lend support and expertise.

The site for the center was selected based on its close proximity to the captured dolphins’ original habitat after JAAN and the National Park staff conducted a survey of the area.

“We’re only returning the dolphins that were captured from here — we are not adding dolphins to the population here,” explained Den Haas, who is originally from Holland.

Since construction was completed on the sea pen at the end of February, Den Haas noted that temporary permits would be extremely difficult to get for dolphins that in the past would have ended up in the entertainment trade after a rescue loophole was used to get them from fishermen who would say the marine mammals had been caught in their nets.

“If any dolphins are accidentally caught and are wounded they would have to be brought to the sea pen, because it’s the official rehabilitation pen for dolphins, so by having the sea pen here, nobody can take in dolphins under the guise of ‘rescue’ again,” she said.

Many locals recognize the benefits of their involvement in the program. Ali Muarif, who helped build the sea pen for the dolphins in the program, called its month-long construction period an interesting learning time for him, saying that he had to make it strong and of good quality for its purpose.

Ali was appointed by the National Park to represent the park on the team as full-time help. Since March, he has been maintaining the sea pen daily, ensuring no debris is caught in the netting and it is safe and secure for when the first dolphins finally arrive.

Originally from the Kemujan area of the island, Ali has grown up often seeing dolphins in the local waters, and said his mind would be more at ease if the friendly marine mammals taken from Karimun Jawa could be returned home.

“I still come across them often [in the open water]. It’s important to have them here to draw tourists to our area. Dolphins are beautiful and good creatures that deserve to be in the wild and I’d rather see them in the ocean than locked up in some enclosure,” Ali said.

Via Ric O'Barry’s Dolphin Project

soundssimpleright  asked:

I understand that the use of cetaceans -- dolphins, whales, etc -- for entertainment is unethical because their physical, emotional and intellectual needs cannot be met in captivity, but what about smaller, less complex animals such as sea lions or penguins? Can they conceivably live comfortably in such settings?

You’re right about the use of cetaceans in captivity.

For less complex animals, so long as their environmental, social, and dietary needs are met properly, it is okay to keep them in zoos. Despite the fact that some animals that were kept in zoos because they were threatened or endangered and no longer are, they’re still kept because they’ve lived their lives entirely in zoos and may not be fit to live in the wild. Here is a proper long care sheet about taking care of penguins in zoos that includes anything you’d like to know.

- Harpy

Pinnipeds in captivity was one of the first marine animal captivities to actually occur. We’ve been keeping them in captivity since the 1600s (of course, we’ve also been doing other, much worse things since the 1600s so that isn’t an argument for or against). And like a lot of animals which we feel entitled to keeping in captivity, they’re often prey to exploitation for sensationalism instead of careful care for conservation and education. 

Having seen sea lions in the wild, I think they’re definitely happier there than in the zoo or aquarium, but I also think some aquariums do a top notch job of caring for their pinnipeds and making sure they’re happy and healthy. It depends on the facility and the measures they take, as well as their intentions in keeping pinnipeds..

It’s good to keep in mind that a lot of facilities mistreat their pinnipeds, though, keeping them in small cages and only allowing intermittent access to water. When used in shows they often go through a stressful rotation between different seals or sea lions used in the show, and moth capture processes aren’t at all ethical. Capturing wild pinnipeds is still an ongoing business.

The rule in general is, though: If they’re happy, healthy, ethically acquired and given the right enrichment, as well as are used for conservation or education, it’s okay.

Further Reading:
Captive Pinniped Eye Problems

Fungal Health Issues in Captive Pinnipeds

Paper on Heat Exhaustion and Other Health Issues in Captive Penguins

Penguin Health in Captivity

More Info on Wild vs Captive Penguins

SeaWorld’s Unethical Acquiring of Penguin Chicks

Penguin Husbandry Manual

Otters in Captivity

More info on Otters in Captivity

Sources: X | X | X

-Mille Fleur

Signed by:  King Kookie, Goffin