It’s Pamela Anderson’s birthday, and the only gift she wants is freedom for marine mammals in captivity.
In a new PETA campaign, Anderson poses in a tub in her birthday suit and asks, “Could You Live in a Bathtub for Decades?”
Her point is that dolphins and other marine animals kept at marine parks, such as Sea World and Dolphin Marine Conservation Park, are not given anything like the space and enrichment they’d have if they were swimming free in their ocean homes. Dolphins in the wild swim up to 100 kilometres a day with their family pods, looking for opportunities to dive and surf the waves. By contrast, in captivity, they’re trapped and forced to perform meaningless tricks in front of noisy crowds for a handful of dead fish.
Dolphins navigate by echolocation, but in pools, their own sonar waves bounce off the walls, which can drive them insane. Studies have shown that dolphins in captivity have elevated cortisol levels, often becoming so stressed that they develop ulcers and have to be given antacids. They often express their frustration by swimming in endless circles, floating listlessly at the surface of a tank, or deliberately stranding themselves on a platform or stage.
Sea Sanctuaries Are a Sure Thing
There’s global momentum for marine abusement parks to create sea sanctuaries.The National Aquarium in the USis retiring the dolphins it holds captive to just such a habitat, beluga whales are being moved from a Chinese marine park to a sanctuary in Iceland, and Parliament in Pamela’s native Canada just voted to ban dolphin and whale captivity outright.
Australian dolphins in captivity could be successfully transferred to sea pens that mimic their natural environments and potentially released back into their home waters, depending on the needs and abilities of each individual.
What You Can Do
- Avoid marine parks and aquariums, both in Australia and overseas.
- Send an e-mail to the daily deal company Groupon, which still supports the abuse of these animals by selling tickets to dolphin shows, and ask it to sever ties with Sea World.
- Share Pamela’s ad with anyone you know who still goes to dolphin shows.