SeaWorld has reportedly shipped 24 dolphins, including two “rescued” individuals, to be displayed at its new Abu Dhabi location.
Animal rights organization PETA leveled the accusation after reading dolphin transfer papers from Ceta-Base. The latter tracks the movements of captive marine creatures. The animals in question are being sent from four separate SeaWorld locations across the US.
One of the exported animals is Alice, a dolphin who was “rescued” in 2007 and kept at SeaWorld San Antonio. During her tenure at the park, she was artificially inseminated, giving birth to two calves across her pregnancies. Only one will be sent to Abu Dhabi with her.
Calling for the release of dolphins
Animal rights activists have repeatedly called for healthy dolphins to be released from a life of “entertainment” to sanctuaries. PETA continues to specifically target SeaWorld, imploring the company to surrender its animals.
“If these dolphins are healthy enough to be shipped around the world, they’re healthy enough to be released to coastal sanctuaries,” PETA’s executive vice president Tracy Reiman said in a statement.
“Only a sham ‘rescue’ would use a wild dolphin who needed help as a breeding machine and force her to perform tricks in a concrete pool a world away, and PETA is urging the public to stay away from SeaWorld’s abusement parks.”
SeaWorld’s murky dolphin welfare
Due to open in 2023, SeaWorld’s Abu Dhabi park will display more than 150 species of marine life. Many will be forced to put on shows.
Dolphin events will likely be a popular inclusion. However, PETA doubts that most visitors will understand the true cost of their viewing or swimming pleasure.
Just this year it was revealed, by a former SeaWorld trainer, that animals are routinely deprived of food before shows. It is done to ensure good performances for the paying public. This, plus being kept in unnaturally small enclosures, can lead to stress and psychological damage.
Meanwhile, in the wild dolphins freely swim upwards of 80 miles per day. They do so with their family pods, to hunt and play together.