Earlier this month, footage of a dolphin attacking its trainer in Miami Seaquarium went viral. The trainer was immediately sent to the hospital and has since recovered from physical injuries, and so does the dolphin.
But that incident has triggered conversations on the negative impacts of marine parks and aquariums on wild animals. Wildlife experts said that the incident was just another proof that wild animals should not be kept captive because it would not happen had the dolphin was only in the wild. They argue that no animal should be forced to spend their life in an unnatural environment and perform.
(Photo : Pixabay/InWay)
Why Animals Should Not Be Kept in Captivity: The Problem With Wildlife Attractions and Venues Discussed
Natural Behavior of Wild Animals
Animals in the wild are naturally shy to humans. They learned from their parents to be mistrustful because they have no way of knowing whether people could be good or do them harm. So when they face a threat, wild animals believe that they should survive by fleeing, fighting, flirting, or freezing.
According to Animal Behavior: Resources for Applied Ethology, fleeing or running away is the most popular reaction of animals towards humans. In contrast, those nesting animals or cornered ones will try to defend themselves if being approached to protect their young. For them, the best option is to fight back.
Fighting is a sign that they are threatened, especially when an animal has no way of getting away quickly. They could either bite, peck, scratch, kick, or flap their wings. An example of this is a snake that will bite whatever is threatening them since they are not as good at running away as other animals.
On the other hand, some animals try to flirt their way to protect their nest. In this way, they could lead the predator away from their nest. Another similar behavior of flirting is freezing, in which an animal does not move when there is no way of escape, like being caught in a trap or net even though they are terrified. By playing dead, they would deceive predators into leaving them alone.
It is always best to stay away from wild animals to prevent disastrous interactions. Wildlife experts remind people that these animals do not know people’s intentions, so they will try to protect themselves no matter what.
Taking Animals From Their Natural Habitat
Thousands of animals are captured and put in zoos and aquariums for tourist attractions every year. However, not all of them are suitable for captivity and are better left alone in the wild.
The incident in Miami Seaquarium is proof that animals do not belong in captivity. According to an article in Plant Based News, marine parks and aquariums are a billion-dollar industry that exists to entertain the public by catching fish and sea mammals from the wild and using them as live exhibits.
Captive animals are forced to spend their lives swimming endlessly and aimlessly instead of traveling up to 100 miles a day at fast speeds in the wild. A 2019 report by World Animal Protection found that captive animals exhibited abnormal levels of aggression, indicating that the attack in Miami Seaquarium was a direct result of captivity, despite claims that it is an isolated incident and is uncommon.