A brand new Swim with the Dolphins (SWTD) park is being built in Arizona. According to their site, Mexico-based Dolphinaris is developing the “next generation” of dolphin experiences. What does this mean? Profits. Their main site, littered with blatant ads selling the dolphins as products, makes it clear that the beneficial experience belongs to Dolphinaris.
These beautiful, intelligent beings are used to sell everything from all-inclusive trips, tours, photos and undoubtedly dolphin imaged trinkets while on-site. A live chat box immediately offers a 50% savings on dolphin programs hinting at the company’s true feelings and intentions about the dolphin’s value and reason for being.
The park is estimated to cost $20 million to build, which can only imply that their other locations are raking in the profits. But at what cost? Dolphins are being raised, imprisoned and forced to perform, making this a clear animal rights violation. The obscene amount of water needed to keep the park open makes this a water conservation violation, too. And don’t forget that dolphins are still wild creatures, which makes this a serious safety issue. Proving this point, Trip Advisor lists negative reviews of guests being rammed at other Dolphinaris locations.
Exploiting images of seemingly smiling dolphins for financial gain is irresponsible at best and unethical at its core. If every individual who purchased a ticket was informed of the mammals’ reality (including the fact that many die early simply because they are in captivity), I wonder how many would still choose to go to this so-called “next generation of dolphin experiences?”
For all of the reasons above, it is clear that the new Arizona SWTD park should be stopped and others should become obsolete. It’s our responsibility to quit exploiting animals, the planet and fellow humans just to make a buck.