The Georgia Aquarium likes to use “its” dolphins. They use them to pick the Superbowl winners at Superbowl time. They use them as the backdrop to wedding receptions and Christmas parties. Proposals of marriage are apparently romantic in front of these captive marine mammals. Stars come to town, wearing their furs or not, and have kiss-the-dolphin (or beluga whale) photo ops.
So, it should come as no surprise that the Georgia Aquarium would use the eleven dolphins that it houses here at its Atlanta facility as a prop for the Presidential Election, when it mused that the eleven dolphins were performing only once today because they were voting. But the soft “joke” quickly turned to a substantive conversation about dolphin mortality, not by an advocate for dolphin freedom, but by, apparently, someone who supports dolphin captivity, who suggested that dolphins live longer in captivity, when that is not the case.
Sandy McElhaney, an administrator at Facebook community Save Misty the Dolphin, hit the nail on the head when she mused whether that erroneous information may have come from “education” from the Georgia Aquarium. Her comment is consistent with a report by the Humane Society of the U.S., which summarized four studies all demonstrating that dolphins in captivity live a significantly shorter lifespan, one study by a factor of almost two.
But going back to the Georgia Aquarium’s prop piece, Ms. McElhaney was also spot on when she said, “I am sure they would vote for FREEDOM given the opportunity.”
Vote for dolphin FREEDOM. Don’t ever ever go to a dolphin show.