Ski Dubai “Penguin Training Program” video: the language of the captive trade

The International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA) recently posted on its Facebook page a new video by Ski Dubai about “the most innovative Penguin Training Program in the world.”

I notice that the language in the video is, not surprisingly, the same used to describe the captivity of dolphins and whales in aquariums, marine parks and other captive “encounter” programs.  This language is something spoken by every aquarium, any where.  This language has been intentionally designed.  Its purpose: to camouflage the truth that humans have ripped these creatures from their natural habitat and do not do well in captivity.

The animal captivity industry wants you to think that this can be recreated, even in Dubai.

The animal captivity industry wants you to think that this can be recreated, even in Dubai.

But what the aquarium industry and their minion, IMATA, whose purpose is the perpetuation of the aquarium industry, have underestimated is the ability of humans to hear the truth in between the words.  As you watch the video, listen for certain words.  Each time, insert its translation and hear the truth.

Keywords invented by the captive trade and their true meaning:

  • “Natural Behaviors” = tricks
  • “Education and Conservation for Awareness” = entertainment for monetary revenue that has no demonstrated substantial impact on conservation “behaviors” in humans
  • “Ambassadors” = captive beings who have not volunteered for “life” in captivity
  • “Animal Encounter” = exploitation of both people and animals for additional monetary revenue
  • “Best possible care program” = maximizing survival rate of already-trained animals
  • “Daily management behaviors” = so we can make them bend to what we need to do to them to keep them alive in captivity
  • “Stimulated” = things we do or give to the animals in an unnatural setting to avoid stress anxiety and boredom, which make animals ill in captivity
  • “Play day” = tricks for the public’s amusement (I can hear from here the clapping when the penguins bow)
  • “The animals are desensitized to having close interaction with people” = we have successfully exerted control over these animals

Please know that marine mammals are not suited to a life in captivity by virtue of their expansive habitat range (they migrate; they swim hundreds of miles in a short period of time; some dive to 1000′ in depth), their highly social and familial structure, and their high intelligence.  Keeping these sentient and social creatures in captivity is an inhumane venture fueled by an outdated view of the “animal kingdom”.

Enter a new day, based in today’s ethics, learn the language of the captivity industry, and do not go to zoos and aquariums that keep the animals who have no “business” being there.


6 responses to “Ski Dubai “Penguin Training Program” video: the language of the captive trade

  1. OMG….whilst using enough energy to melt a little bit more of the ice caps…madness all round!

  2. As I posted on the video, “I worked in a penguin exhibit at a zoo for awhile, until I saw first hand that the penguins were all getting “bumble foot”, the seals and sea lions were going blind (chlorine) and 2 polar bears died. So I now detest the idea of these “educational” programs. They are cruel and un-natural.”

  3. Thanks for that insider perspective. Many former trainers are coming forward, with the publishing of David Kirby’s book, Death at SeaWorld, the former trainers at Marineland Canada speaking out and being sued, and the new documentary, Blackfish, just screened at Sundance. <3

  4. One of your best Mo! And if you go back years, you will hear the same verbage even then. They may as well record it all and play it over and over again.

  5. I completely agreed on you Mo. Animals don’t belong in zoo’s, they belong to their naturals habitat. Animals are slowly dying in zoo’s. Each of us must do an action and spread the world on how to treat animals the humane way.

Leave a Reply