Here in the United States, on the Fourth of July we’re celebrating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In Spain, on the Fourth of July, they’re observing Captive Dolphin Day to persuade the government to gradually shut down the marine circuses and let dolphins enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, too.
Spain has the largest number of captive dolphin facilities in Europe, with 90 dolphins, 2 beluga whales and 6 orcas in 11 marine circuses. Most of these are in popular tourist resorts such as Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and the Canary Islands, where an orca killed one of the trainers a couple of months before the Dawn Brancheau disaster at SeaWorld in Florida.
The campaign is organized by the Born Free Foundation, which will be showing a short movie in public places all over Spain. Here’s a clip:
In preparation for the campaign, Born Free conducted a poll in Spain last year to get a better understanding of people’s views about keeping dolphins and other marine mammals in these commercial pools. They found that more than 9 out of 10 Spanish citizens were in favor of a ban on keeping dolphins in captivity.
An impressive 77% of the those surveyed are currently against the keeping of dolphins in captivity for public display and an overwhelming 92% would favor banning the capture and confinement of dolphins. Of those questioned, 87% believe dolphins are ‘happier’ in the wild. The IPSOS Survey, commissioned by NGOs, FAADA and One Voice, also found that few people were aware that that captive dolphins suffer from depression, stress, and even early mortality.
Born Free recently organized the liberation of two dolphins, Tom and Misha, in Turkey.