You often hear talk about the elusive “younger generation”, and how it’s up to them to save the world.
AFD had the opportunity to travel to Coffs Harbour recently, home of the controversial marine park, Dolphin Marine Magic. While there, we delivered an education program to a number of local high schools, made possible by a grant from Voiceless, the animal protection institute.
AFD had the opportunity to meet many amazing students in Coffs. One was fourteen year-old Evy, who is passionate about dolphin protection.
Evy told us, “I find their level of intelligence incredible and the fact that we now have so much proof of that, but we’re still treating them either like a goldfish or just a piece of meat. I think that’s just wrong.”
And she’s right – it is wrong. Dolphins are one of the most intelligent species on the planet. They have huge brains, can learn sign language and possess self-awareness. That’s why keeping them in captivity for our entertainment is cruel. Because barren, concrete tanks can never replicate the vast and varied ocean life a dolphin deserves.
Evy explains, “In the past when we only just started having zoos, it can be excused that we treated the animals so badly because we barely knew anything about them. But now we know so much about them but still treat them like pretty, little fish and I think it’s unacceptable”. Evy told AFD she’d only recently seen Blackfish, and “it was very hard to watch”.
After AFD’s presentation, Evy shared, “I can really relate to dolphins in captivity because I have Asperger’s and I know what it’s like to feel trapped somewhere you don’t want to be.”
Evy, who’s been to Sea World and Dolphin Marine Magic told AFD, “all of the times I was there, I was way too little to understand that it could be bad to have them there.”
And that’s really the crux of it. Once you know dolphins suffer in captivity, you can’t un-know it.
The thought of being trapped somewhere and having no control over it, is powerful. If fourteen year-old Evy can realise this, let’s hope Australian politicians can see it – and act on it – fast.
Australia for Dolphins is currently petitioning Mike Baird to end dolphin captivity in New South Wales. Please support our campaign by signing the petition now.