The next time you hear someone try to wax poetic about SeaWorld’s “conservation efforts,” hit him or her with this fact: 62 bottlenose dolphins have died at SeaWorld parks in the last 10 years alone. The oldest dolphin lived to be 37 years old, but most were far younger when they died. Sixteen of the 62 dolphin deaths at SeaWorld were stillborn babies.
And the dolphins aren’t the only ones in danger. More than half of marine mammal workers have been injured by the frustrated captive animals they interact with—and more than one-third of those injuries were considered severe.
The dolphin “smile” is one of nature’s greatest illusions. Marine mammals suffer every minute of their circumscribed lives in captivity, and their time on Earth is cut drastically short. It’s time to shut down marine-mammal parks and aquariums for good.