Swim With The Dolphins?

Old Jan 17th, 2003, 04:56 AM
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Swim With The Dolphins?

Author: Michelle ([email protected])
Date: 01/15/2003, 11:13 pm
Message: I have gotten some rates on tours and things through Expedia and I wanted to know if they sounded reasonable. I can buy the tickets in advance, but I want some advice first before I do that.
Swim w/ Dolphins and a day at Wet 'N Wild $121
Tulum & Xel-Ha Tour - $79

Any tips advice, etc... would be greatly appreciated. Thanxs.

Author: Nancy ([email protected])
Date: 01/16/2003, 09:10 am
Message: 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.)

Author: cha cha ([email protected])
Date: 01/16/2003, 04:47 pm
Message: Think about it... does "Wet 'N Wild" sound like a really good environment for dolphins to live and be forced to swim with humans???

Michelle, Please take the time to do some further research before you put your vacation dollars into supporting this terrible practice.

Author: MICHELLE ([email protected])
Date: 01/17/2003, 12:33 am
Message: (In continuation of my above response) Pardon my ignorance in this situation. To clarify my question. I understand that there are some very strong opinions against dolphins that are held in captivity (I am looking into the websites that were given above. Thank you for that resource) I was wondering if the way dolphins are treated in Mexico are "worse" than how they are treated in the U.S. or if the above postings were just responses towards the general feeling about the dislike of dolphins in captivity.

Old Jan 17th, 2003, 04:58 AM
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Author: Nancy ([email protected])
Date: 01/17/2003, 08:52 am
Message: Hello Michelle,
Thanks for taking the time to inquire further and educate yourself about the SWTD programs prior to making a decision.
Unfortunately, no matter where they are in the world and how well the dolphins appear to be cared for, they are very cruel.
From the method by which the dolphins are captured, (forcibly taken from extended family units that are structured much the way elephant society is), transported (in many cases DRY transported inland for 100's or 1000's of miles), to the way they are housed (in small enclosures which do not allow them to exercise properly or swim in a straight line for any length of time), to the food they are given only when they perform (frozen/dead fish they would never eat in the wild), to the training methods and "shows" they must endure, (food withheld until they cooperate and loud music which confuses their sonar), more than 1/2 die within 90 days of capture, and the rest are very likely to be dead within a year.
Many countries are now legislating an end to this practice now that more people are becoming aware of the mortality rate of the dolphins and refusing to participate.
I've been fortunate enough to encounter wild dolphins on several occasions, and I will never get over the shame I feel for having done a SCUBA dive with a captive dolphin.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 12:46 PM
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Author: Dolphin ([email protected])
Date: 01/17/2003, 09:16 am

Message: Michelle,
In response to your question about captive dolphins in general and in Mexico....
In the US there are SOME regulations at the larger parks, such as limiting their 'shows' to two hours a day and giving them some pens where there are no people to bother them. Of course, this still does not make these programs acceptable and there are no regulations like this in Mexico.
There are many other problems that occure with these captive mammals. For instance, because tanks are shallow, the natural tendencies of whales and dolphins are reversed-they spend more than half of their time at the tanks surface. In the wild they only spend about 20% of their time at the surface. This unatural situation can cause skin problems, even burns. Yes, dolphins can get sun burns. Another example is their food. Because they are fed frozen dead fish, the food must be heavily fortified by vitamins and antibiotics. The antibiotics given, designed to fight bacteria, reduce the natural capacity of dolphins to resist fungi, which in turn allows the development of fungal infestation. These yeast mainly attack the mucous membranes and cause an appallingly long death. The dolphin literally rots alive.
The biggest problem with these captive dolphins is the stress factor. Ulcers kill many dolphins in these parks. Very, very sad. They are NOT happy to be doing tricks for people.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 05:44 PM
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My first experience swimming with dolphins was at a marine park in the Florida Keys. I was thrilled because I love dolphins and I didn't know any better. I'm sure the dolphins were not thrilled and were really only interested in what they had to do to get the next fish.

I have since swam with wild dolphins on numerous occassions. That is a totally different experience and completely on the dolphins terms. They come because they choose to, you don't feed them and you don't touch them unless they deliberately brush against you. They decide when playtime is over and you wish them a fond farewell, envious of their joyful freedom.

Having some wild dolphins choose to swim beside you, scan you with their sonar and seeing their amazing intelligence when they look you straight in the eye, beats the heck out of promoting the sad life of a captive dolphin that just wants its dinner and some peace.

Unless you think you would envy the life they are forced to lead, please don't swim with captive dolphins.

Old Jan 17th, 2003, 07:43 PM
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Here is a long and specific list of dolphins that have died for the sake of entertaining humans. What is even more sad is that it doesn't even include the hundreds that have died in the Mexican parks and captive swim programs.


Old Jan 17th, 2003, 08:52 PM
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Dolphin Lover,
Where have you swam w/ wild dolphins? I live in Miami and I have seen them when I am out on the boat, but I was told not to swim w/ them b/c since they are wild they can be dangerous. That's why I wanted to swim w/ the ones in captivity.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 10:08 PM
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The past couple of years I have gone on a several week-long dolphin expeditions off the coast of Bimini. www.dolphinexpeditions.com

I am currently planning a trip in March at Delfin Amor on Drake Bay in Costa Rica to swim with the wild dolphins there. They are also conducting research to create a marine sanctuary there.
Old Jan 18th, 2003, 06:14 PM
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So sorry to hear that lodgings on Drake Bay are offering "swim with the dophins" tours. I have often seen dolphins there swim along with the boat and that is enough for me. I feel no desire to jump in and interact. God only knows what you are inflicting upon them if you do...even wearing suntan lotion affects them....Just WATCH them if you are lucky enough to encounter them. Besides, above poster, do you really think you can pay for and PLAN an encounter in the wild? Because people like you will pay, next they'll have the whole bay fenced off so people will THINK they are swimming with "wild" dolphins. You disgust me. Marine sanctuary?? Don't make me laugh. Dolfin Amor doesn't have a lot of clout in the area. Looks like a pretty nice place to stay though, but doesn't have any really great views of the bay except from one cabin or if you are on the beach.
Old Jan 18th, 2003, 09:07 PM
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<quote>do you really think you can pay for and PLAN an encounter in the wild? </quote>

If what you say is true, then I guess they better close ALL of Costa Rica's national parks from visitors too. God only knows what all the people paying to tramp through the jungles and hanging from the trees on the canopy tours are inflicting upon the poor animals and environment there. After all, next thing you know they will have it all fenced off to make you THINK you are encountering 'wild' animals. While they are at it they better prevent everyone from visiting Cano Island. Surely all the boats, divers and snorkelers impact the wildlife there too. Gee, I bet their suntan lotion comes off in the water all the time!!!

That's not going to happen, is it? The people that PAY to go there are exactly what allows the parks to remain as much of a wild sanctuary as they can be instead of being exploited in other ways.

BTW - You disgust me too. You can't seem to understand that if they can create a marine sanctuary it would do a lot to protect the marine life (especially the dolphins, whales and turtles) in the same way that the national parks do.

Old Jan 19th, 2003, 06:20 AM
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Hey dolphin lover: Wonderful response! I really appreciate your information on the dolphin matter. I also appreciate the fact that you don't find the need to verbally attack someone who does not agree or understand your point of view. Keep up the good work. We are here to learn, and educate, not to put down others. 'sbthegog' should calm down.
Old Jan 19th, 2003, 03:15 PM
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Dolphins are mammals and are affected by us more than other "marine life". As far as other wildlife in the parks is concerned, you have never been to cano island park...yet. There are few animals or birdlife there. I don't do the canopy tours either for the reasons you mentioned, nor do I stray from the paths in Corcovado. There are no guarantees to see anything in the parks, so planning to see an anteater, or dolphin, or anything else in the wild is ludicrous. No one can guarantee that...A sanctuary for dophins and other "marine life" would require containment would it not? Why do they need protection in the first place? Because of tourists.
Old Jan 19th, 2003, 03:21 PM
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Look our we go on holidays to enjoy our self not to participate in the abuse of Marine Mammals for Human profit.

That is right dummies. These theme parks are all about extracting your hard earned dollars.

The Dolphin Smile is not a smile it is part of the animals anatomy, however as long as there are FOOLISH AND NEEDY HUMANS who want to get their LOVIN FROM A WATER MAMMAL think twice. These are not puddy cats or woofies or stuffed teddy bears these are not domesticated animals. These mammals are taken from the wild separated from their pod and many many DIE FROM STRESS RELATED DISEASE, STOMACH ULCERS.



Old Jan 19th, 2003, 03:33 PM
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OK, Ok, Drake bay is far from a theme park...but, I see it coming...If tourists will pay and WANT to do this, then the people there will try to accomodate you. It is their livelyhood to do so. The dolphins I have seen there will suffer. No more will I see the spotted backs of the older ones..And that view is all I need.
Old Jan 19th, 2003, 04:04 PM
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Apparently someone else took it upon themselves to answer with the same post name I have been using.

sbthegog, just as I have not been to Cano Island (btw, I was referring to the MARINE life there), you have not (yet) been on a wild dolphin expedition conducted by people who care about the dolphins FIRST and foremost. No one is guaranteeing that there will be dolphin encounters. On previous trips there have been days that we didn't see dolphins or saw them but didn't get in the water with them. That is O.K. with me. They are free and come when they choose to....or not.

A marine sanctuary does not mean containment in any way. It designates a large area of protection just as the national parks do. In this case, it could include preventing tuna fleets from rounding up the dolphin in nets, it could prevent dolphins from being captured in the area to be sold to marine parks. It could prevent what you fear, which is that hundreds of boats that know nothing about dolphins would go chasing after them. Without a marine sanctuary, what you fear is a possibility in the future. I hope not.


Old Jan 19th, 2003, 04:42 PM
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My point is simple...tourists show an interest in swimming with dolphins and the people make it so. By your encouragement to pay for someone to take you out in a boat to do this, you are ensuring the future of these glorious mammals...Looks pretty bleak to me...
Old Jan 19th, 2003, 07:07 PM
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It’s pretty clear from all your posts how you feel about ‘tourists’. I’m sure you would rather that they all just stay away from what you perceive to be your own personal playground. If this is what you are wishing for, it’s too late for that and your future does look bleak indeed.

If you wish to believe that my visit to help fund and participate in some research is guaranteeing certain doom for the dolphins, go ahead. I know that I have done more (and will continue to do more) to help the plight of dolphins than you will ever do to help ANYTHING.

You can just continue to sit on your butt and delude yourself into believing that your presence has no effect on anything. You can just go ahead and blame all the tourists, or me in particular if you prefer, for anything that might transpire in the future. Considering the source, it doesn't bother me a bit.

Old Jan 20th, 2003, 09:49 AM
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We have snorkeled with Stringrays in Tahiti and Jamaica. Do you all feel this is also wrong? Serious question.
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 09:56 AM
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If they were completely unrestrained and live in the open ocean, I don't have a problem with it.
The issue most of us have with the dolphin swims is that the animals are forcibly captured away from their families, kept in small enclosures and forced to perfom in order to eat.
The stingrays are scavengers and hang out anywhere food is being disbursed.
They will come back over and over to any location where they can get a handout.
The bad news is that they associate humans with food, and that is never a good thing for a wild animal.
But, the stingrays have a choice - the dolphins do not...
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 03:58 PM
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Dolphins are mammals that are susceptible to all of our human diseases. Other marine life (besides whales)are not impacted as much by our contact. Dophin-lover is obviously promoting delfin amor and their services. if there are too many boats or the dolphins don't like this contact anymore and move out to sea or another location, the hotel owners will reel them in to make sure their guests have the experience they paid for and will spread the word. Good business...bad for the dolphins.
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 04:36 PM
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If you want to pretend to that you are posting as a differnet person, you should at least come up with a name you haven't used before.

<quote>Author: afdip ([email protected])
Date: 01/02/2003, 03:01 am
Message: HOW MANY TIMES DOES THIS HAVE TO BE SAID BEFORE PEOPLE LISTEN? Sorry, I'm yelling...Please people...please..stop this insane desire to "be one with nature" and see the long term consequences.</quote>

I'm not promoting Delfin or anything else. As you pointed out, I haven't even been there yet. If it does not turn out to be respectful of and useful to the dolphin cause, you can bet I'll be the first to jump on your bandwagon. In the meantime, let it go.

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