Since the documentary Blackfish outlined some of the tragic conditions our dolphins and killer whales endure in aquariums, its been tough to fill the bleachers. Many visitors have been opting for aquariums that don’t house cetaceans as study and education mean we understand the physical and mental anguish suffered by our majestic mammalian friends in captivity.
The National Aquarium in Baltimore is heeding protests about their dolphins and has ordered the cessation of their breeding program and their dolphin shows. Since their dolphins were bred in captivity, releasing them into the wild would not be a viable option and so a special sanctuary is being created.
The sanctuary will be linked to the aquarium so visitors will still be able to see the dolphins, but they will have a much greater area in which to move freely. Let’s hope this ground-breaking commitment to treating cetaceans with respect will mean that dolphins and killer whales stay in the oceans where they belong.
Let’s hope taking them from their families and imprisoning them while making them do tricks for our entertainment becomes a distant memory of an embarrassing past.