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Ocean Discovery Teaches Animal Cruelty

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At Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, CA a new exhibit was opened to provide an interactive experience with the parks residents. These "Ocean Discovery" exhibits now include a 200,000 gallon tank containing three to five of the parks 14 Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins. The dolphins have been removed from their natural habitats deprived from an annexed refuge and placed in petting pools poorly located and smaller than that of an average living room.

In these petting pools, dolphins are feed buy the visitors who reward the mammals by giving them fish in return for letting the humans touch them. The most dominate of the dolphins and those most willing to accept human touch receives the most human attention in return getting the most fish. In some cases visitors have been observed feeding french fries, sandwiches, and even left over soda to the dolphins. One report observed dolphins in a petting pool so obese the blow holes which the mammals expel air from had been covered by fat cells

To escape the constant feeding and noise some parks have added refuges where the dolphins may go if they do not chose to interact however no such refuge has been added to the pool at Marine World. The dolphins must interact continuously through out the twelve hour day of the park and then many hours after closing as they are put through medical checks, pool maintenance, training

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and feeding. Marine World representatives state that the dolphins could avoid interaction by swimming to the edge of the pool where the visitors were not allowed access. On a recent visit to the park, people were observed on all sides of the pool. They continue this work day with out breaks as visitors have non-stop access during the parks operating hours seven days a week.

The pool Marine World had created for the dolphins is located directly below two of its largest and busiest attractions, two roller coasters called Vertical Velocity and Roar which not only brings noise levels into the unpleasant scenario but sends a rather noticeable vibration through the ground with each pass of the rides car. Unfortunately for the dolphins, this location also does not include much shade, is close to the nearby interstate, parking lot, and fairgrounds.

Legislation on how these pools are kept would, their occupants treated and visitors educated, petting pools such as these will continue to be harmful to the

dolphins that inhabit them. Until these laws are passed for better protection and education, the wellbeing of the dolphins will be put aside for financial gain.

Works Cited

Bulwa, Demian. "Marine World Offers Hands-on Dolphin Encounter - Animal rights activists denounce latest attraction". San Francisco Chronicle. 27 January 2005. .

Cuff, Denis. "Interactive Marine Animal Exhibits Draw Detractors". Myrtle Beach Online. 03 May 2005. .

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and The Humane Society of the United States. "Biting the Hand That Feeds". Spring 2003. .

In these petting pools, dolphins



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