Aug 10th, 2004, 08:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
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We'll be in Cancun on Thursday - Monday. Has anyone done the Swim with Dolphins program? If so, what did you think? Did you to it at Xcerat or the place in hotel zone? Do you guys find that its easier to book all of your excursions through a tour company or just arrange everything in Cancun. Right now, I am inthe middle of getting things set for the weekend and was wondering if i should just wait till I get to Cancun to arrange all this stuff?
rowdyreptile is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 09:13 AM
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You won't find many fans of that activity here.
atlcity is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 09:19 AM
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prepare to be lectured, scolded and reprimanded for considering a swim with dolphins program.
tom42 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 10:06 AM
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I was hoping to swim with the dolphins in Roatan but never thought about how swimming with them would be harmful. This link was posted on the US board and has changed my mind about wanting to.
kcapuani is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 10:20 AM
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If you look long enough you'll find negative concerns about everything and anything. Swim with the dolphins, you'll love the experience.
arbegold is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 10:27 AM
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I would ask you to please reconsider the dolphin swim. They are incredibly cruel. I did it once and was sorry ever since. No matter how clean or nice it looks, more than half of the dolphins die within 60 to 90 days of capture.
In order to make an informed decision, please visit:

(The second site is the Humane Society of the United States' position on SWTD programs.)
Diana is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 12:05 PM
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Please research the captive dolphin swim, I think you may change your mind once you understand the facts. You can instead choose a boat tour to observe them in the wild.

arbegold~ you don't have to look very deeply into this issue to find the serious problem with the concept.
suze is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 12:41 PM
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I'd just like to say thanks to kcapuani and Diana for posting those links. I knew there was controversy but had never looked into it and (evidently) never had anyone post a link about it in front of me from respected sources. I looked this time. Think we'll pass on the Dolphin Discovery fliers.

Ryberg is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 02:57 PM
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Thanks for the info folks! I'm not convinced either way because ALOT of animals are held in captivation. We might pass on the swim with dolphins.
rowdyreptile is offline  
Aug 11th, 2004, 03:54 AM
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Thank you Steve!

I did notice that you had them (the fliers) at your place when we were there earlier this year, but the fact of the matter is, the advertising for these places makes it look like such a wonderful experience (for the people AND the dolphins) that most don't realize how bad it really is.

One of the saddest things I've ever seen was the dolphins huddled miserably together in the furthest corner of their pen at Chankanaab on Cozumel when we swam past while SCUBA diving.

I wish I'd had the internet to do research when I was considering doing it. (My dive was in 1992 and I thought it was OK because it was in the open ocean and the people told me the dolphins were free to leave if they wanted to. Wrong.)

Thanks again, and we'll see you next Spring - if not before!
Diana is offline  
Aug 11th, 2004, 05:27 AM
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This thread is so heart warming for me! I remember when I first started trying to educate people about this awful industry I got bashed so many times. Though I must admit I was not very 'diplomatic' about it at first. A little over a year ago, the vote would have been about 75% for the dolphin swims and only 25% against. I sure have seen those estimates go the other way!
Let's keep this trend going!

Over half of the dolphins captured for 'swim with dolphin parks' that survive their violent capture will die within 90 days. The average lifespan of a dolphin in the wild is 45 years, yet half of all captured dolphins die within their first two years of captivity. The survivors last an average of only five years. Every seven years, half of ALL dolphins in captivity, whether captured or born in the parks, die from capture shock, pneumonia, intestinal disease, ulcers, chlorine poisoning and other stress related illnesses. The most obvious cause of stress is due to the radical spatial constriction which occurs when dolphins are taken from the ocean and put into man-made enclosures of captivity. Some even commit suicide. Yes, dolphins can and do commit suicide. They hold their breath until they suffocate. Some dolphins even die from the food they are given. Since the food is 'dead' and frozen, and is not the variety they eat in the ocean, it has to be heavily fortified with vitamins and antibiotics. These antibiotics can cause a fungus growth (just as some antibiotics cause women to get yeast infections) that will literally rot the dolphin while it's alive. To the captive dolphin industry, these facts are accepted as routine operating expenses. When one dies, they just get another to take it's place. They often name the 'new' dolphin with the name of the dead dolphin, so the public never knows what happened.
While some species have had a little success in captive breeding, the truth is that most mammals have never produced surviving offspring, while the calves of others suffer high mortality rates. Therefore, almost all dolphins in captivity today still come from the wild. They are ripped from their pods and separated from families some have lived with for years. Capture crews destroy dolphin families by capturing 2 to 4 year old baby dolphins (possibly not weaned) to replace dolphins that die.

Dolphins are trained by food depravation. They learn those 'tricks' by being subjected to starvation. If they don't do the tricks, they don't get the fish. Dolphin trainers will turn this around and call it 'food rewards'. If they do the tricks, they get a reward. If they don't, no 'reward' To the dolphin, it's food depravation. They are fed dead fish which they would never eat in the wild. Many dolphins have to be force fed through tubes until they learn to 'accept' dead fish.

One of the saddest things is the boredom they are subjected to. These beautiful, intelligent mammals who are perpetually aware have nothing like the varied stimulation of their natural environment. If you watch the dolphins after the show, you will see them swim in repetitive circles, or just float at the surface with eyes closed. These are signs of depression.

Like any other business, the captive dolphin industry is based on supply and demand. As long as there is a paying audience to sustain the huge profits of this industry, dolphins will be captured from the wild and captive breeding programs will be intensified. And remember, dolphins born in captivity are born with the exact same physiological characteristics as those of their wild co-species. Confinement violates a dolphins most fundamental behavioral requirements, regardless of whether it was captured in the wild or born in captivity.

You can read a report titled "Dolphinaria In Mexico: A Critical Report" on the WSPA site at
Or read "The Case Against Captive Dolphins" at
Other sites:

And of course the one Diana mentions, was started by Ric O'Berry, the original trainer of "Flipper". He quit the business 35 years ago after his favorite, a female named "Cathy' died of stress in his arms. Read his books, "Behind the Dolphin Smile" and "To Free A Dolphin" for the real truth of this awful industry.
Ally is offline  
Aug 11th, 2004, 05:30 AM
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To the original poster, most people do wait until they arrive before they book 'tours'. It's very easy to do. The hotels have tour desks that can help you arrange anything you want to do once you get there.
Ally is offline  
Aug 11th, 2004, 05:35 AM
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Having not researched the subject, I don't have a strong opinion against the Swim with Dolphins programs. We thought about doing this activity in Cancun, but didn't, because we were short on money.

We did observe the activity for a while at a shopping mall on the main road. (I've forgotten the name, but I'm sure you can find it. It's the one that also has "feeding the sharks".) It was pretty expensive -- I think $125 per person 2 years ago. I didn't see anything "cruel", but we only watched for 10 minutes.

To answer another of your questions, we booked all our excursions at our resort after we got to Cancun. Everything went off according to schedule, and we were satisfied with the cost.

Like I said, I haven't read the info on the SWD programs. If I did, I probably wouldn't do it, but that wasn't one of your questions.

Have a good time in Cancun!

dwoodliff is offline  

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