Before we get to the dolphin education brought to you by CNN and Georgia Aquarium, and to a lesser extent the Super Bowl, I’d like you to meet the two dolphins now housed at the Georgia Aquarium, reported by CNN to be Shaka and Lily, who are the subjects of today’s post.
Shaka, a wild-caught dolphin, caught in 1988, estimated birthdate in 1985, Georgia Aquarium. Photo from Ceta-base’s Phinventory Copyright Dolphin quest
Shaka: Shaka was wild-caught. I’m not very good at dolphin research yet, so I can’t tell you precisely where Shaka was taken, or how many dolphins from her pod were taken from the ocean on that memorable day. But thanks to Ceta-base (because the government doesn’t do a very good job of tracking the dolphins in captivity), we know that she was captured on May 27, 1988, and arrived at Dolphin Quest Bermuda on August 20, 1988. Estimated to have been born in 1985, Shaka has been used to breed dolphins for the captive industry. She has lost at least two calves in this effort to supply more captive dolphins, one in 1996 and one in 1997. Dolphins generally breed only every five years, maybe a bit less, because in the wild, the calves stay with their mother continuing to learn how to be a dolphin. So Shaka was busy.
Lily, also at the Georgia Aquarium, born April 9, 2004. Photo from Ceta-base’s Phinventory. Copyright Dolphin Quest
Lily. Lily, on the other hand, was bred in captivity. She has never lived in the ocean. Born to Cirrus (Circe) with sperm from Khyber (Keebler) on April 4, 2004, she now lives in Georgia.
I’m at a bit of a loss to know what to say next about Shaka and Lily, because I see what sort of “education” about dolphins the Georgia Aquarium provides that justifies keeping these sentient creatures in a tank, and am left speechless, almost. When I watched the following video, the universe supplied me with words like imbecilic and disrespectful. The word “education” was not found in the parade of words that floated past.
But lest you worry that the video will be shocking, let me assure you, this is just a moronic display of disrespect of the dolphins to sell news over at CNN and get more people to watch the Superbowl (as if) and come to the Georgia Aquarium. Same old story.
So to the morons and imbeciles, I humbly apologize. I know, I know, labels only label me, not you. Whatever. Just watch this educational spot and see if you don’t agree that, even if you can’t put your finger on precisely what is wrong with this picture, you know that it is wrong.
Seeing how these creatures are being used, please do not go to the dolphin show. Not here. Not there. Not anywhere. And to add your voice to those who have put their finger on the wrongness, take the pledge with Save Japan Dolphins not to go to dolphin show. Share it with your friends.
If you take the pledge, I thank you. And I bet, Shaka and Lily thank you.
If you’d like to let CNN know that this spot makes it clear that two of the four mammals in it appear to be clueless about how off the mark they were on selecting this spot, you can contact them at 404.827.1500. I wonder who thought this one up? CNN? Or the Georgia Aquarium?
For more information, you might want to watch a trailer to The Cove.