Đà Nẵng, located on the coast of central Vietnam, is planning to build a dolphinarium in the heart of the beach city. The project is led by Russia’s Utrish Dolphinarium Company Ltd. and supported by Đà Nẵng city officials. Governments around the world recognize the cruelty behind dolphinariums and have placed bans on keeping dolphins in captivity or are in the process of doing so. Vietnam is taking a huge step backward by planning this dolphin prison.
Life in captivity
In the wild, dolphins are highly social and swim up to 160 kilometers a day with their pods. In captivity, the intelligent creatures can swim only in endless circles. Training wild dolphins to perform unnatural tricks typically involves food deprivation or isolation, and many become listless and depressed while being forced to live in cramped, chlorinated tanks. Life in captivity is so stressful that many dolphins develop ulcers, exhibit neurotic behavior, and die prematurely. Dolphinariums deny animals everything that is natural and important to them.
Sometimes, dolphinariums and marine parks around the world buy illegally captured dolphins—even babies, who would normally stay with their mothers for three to six years. Taking these animals from the wild tears families apart, and many dolphins may be killed or injured while attempting to escape.
If life for captive dolphins were as tranquil as marine parks would have us believe, they would live at least as long as their wild counterparts. In the wild, dolphins can live into their 40s and 50s, and some have been found to be more than 90 years old. But more than 80 percent of captive dolphins whose ages could be determined died before they turned 20, and those at marine parks rarely survive for more than 10 years.
Dolphins can pass on many illnesses to human visitors, including viral, fungal, and bacterial infections, such as salmonella. People have also been bitten and sustained broken bones while swimming with dolphins at commercial abusement parks.
Visitors to Đà Nẵng can see the gorgeous Non Nước, enjoy the Museum of Cham Sculpture, visit the Cao Đài Temple, and stroll along the city’s lovely riverfront boulevard. However, as more and more people around the world recognize that cetaceans don’t belong in captivity—thanks to documentaries like Blackfish—Đà Nẵng’s tourists won’t want to watch depressed captives in small tanks.
We need your help!
Đà Nẵng city leaders are reconsidering the dolphinarium development, but we need your support to keep pushing for an end to the plan. Please click below and sign the petition asking the head of the Đà Nẵng People’s Committee to stop this form of cruel entertainment, which causes extreme suffering and negatively affects tourism.