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28 replies to this topic

#16 Basslet

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 11:36 AM

I think the poor things are so bored to tears being imprisoned for having committed no crime that they have to invent different ways of amusing themselves.

#17 rkymtwy

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 11:43 AM

I have to agree with that, I think the video is sad...they should be out in the open ocean where they belong, not locked up in a tank.

#18 ScubaDrew

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 01:24 PM

I have to agree with that, I think the video is sad...they should be out in the open ocean where they belong, not locked up in a tank.


I am always torn by this sentiment. On the one hand, I totally agree with you. On the other hand, by having these animals in captivity millions fo people are exposed to them. They watch them, laugh at them, and fall in love with them. Then, a year later or so, when they hear about dolphons drowned in trawler nets, or slaughtered by poachers, or being killed by Navy sonar tests, they are more likely to do something about it.
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#19 BubbleBoy

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 01:47 PM

I think the poor things are so bored to tears being imprisoned for having committed no crime that they have to invent different ways of amusing themselves.


Perhaps. But, who knows what trouble they might get into out there in the big bad ocean. They could end up dealing illegal seaweed or pimping seals or something. Heck, I would trade my job any day for another shot at third grade recess. Look out Jeanie Brown, things are going to be different this time around.

Seriously though, my sentiment pretty much follows that of ScubaDrew. I like the fact that acquariums and zoos are constantly trying to get animals housed in environments closer to their natural habitat so they can develop and behave as normal. I know it's not there yet, but, I think progress is being made in that direction. I bet some dolphins are making bubble rings out in the wild too. If they just invented that skill in the acquarium, that would be even more amazing.

Edited by BubbleBoy, 23 January 2008 - 02:18 PM.

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#20 ScubaDrew

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 02:48 PM

I bet some dolphins are making bubble rings out in the wild too. If they just invented that skill in the acquarium, that would be even more amazing.


I think we could go one step farther, and say that since this is obviously a complicated skill, I mean blowing bubble rings is easy (I can do it), but controlling them, that is a different animal altogether. So it is something that would have to taught, which at that level implies more than simple communication.

Dolphins have a rather complex language, at least what we can figure out, including names for each other, and dialects for different pods. This might almost take that to the next level of intelligence...
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#21 Basslet

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 09:31 AM

Perhaps. But, who knows what trouble they might get into out there in the big bad ocean. They could end up dealing illegal seaweed or pimping seals or something. Heck, I would trade my job any day for another shot at third grade recess. Look out Jeanie Brown, things are going to be different this time around.

Seriously though, my sentiment pretty much follows that of ScubaDrew. I like the fact that acquariums and zoos are constantly trying to get animals housed in environments closer to their natural habitat so they can develop and behave as normal. I know it's not there yet, but, I think progress is being made in that direction. I bet some dolphins are making bubble rings out in the wild too. If they just invented that skill in the acquarium, that would be even more amazing.

Do you remember that old Star Trek where Capt. Kirk was kept in a cage by aliens with superior intellect, or more accurately, better technology? Even though that is science fiction, it seems to me that a case can be made for keeping creatures at least as intelligent as humans but lacking opposable thumbs confined for "education." Besides, what good has this so-called "education done to stem the slaughter of dolphins in Japan? When I took my son to Seaworld more than 10 years ago, before I started actively diving again, I thought it was cool. But when I went back a couple of years ago for a business function, I was appalled at the way Shamu and the other killer whales were treated. Not that they were being treated cruelly, but being confined to perform tricks was kind of disturbing to me.

#22 ScubaDrew

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 10:18 AM

Do you remember that old Star Trek where Capt. Kirk was kept in a cage by aliens with superior intellect, or more accurately, better technology? Even though that is science fiction, it seems to me that a case can be made for keeping creatures at least as intelligent as humans but lacking opposable thumbs confined for "education." Besides, what good has this so-called "education done to stem the slaughter of dolphins in Japan? When I took my son to Seaworld more than 10 years ago, before I started actively diving again, I thought it was cool. But when I went back a couple of years ago for a business function, I was appalled at the way Shamu and the other killer whales were treated. Not that they were being treated cruelly, but being confined to perform tricks was kind of disturbing to me.


If it weren't for places like Seaworld, nobody but a few "wacko environmentalitsts" would give a crap about most things. Thanks to aquariums people have started taking action locally, NJ beaches for example are much cleaner than they were just a few years ago. Whaling has been outlawed in most all places, there is serious pressure to stop the latest from Japan right now. And perhaps even more of an impact, serious pressure was put on the commercial fishing fleets to be "Dolphin Safe". You can argue how effective those campaigns have been, but you have to start somewhere.
People have this gift of blankness, "Out of sight, out of mind". Most people lack the vision to look beyond their own little slice of life. Zoos, aquariums, and tv documentaries are the tip of the sword with regards to conservation. Yes, it is sad that these animals have to be kept in order protect them. But without that exposure most people would turn a blind eye.

You do have to draw a line somewhere though. We should strive for captive breeding. Everywhere possible exhibited animals should be captive bred. In many cases that is true, and in some cases animals are being re-introduced to areas where they are on the brink, or were flat out extirpated. Dophins and killer whales are being bred very successfully ( a sign that they are not wholley disturbed by their living conditions), I am not aware of any aquariums capturing wild porpoise for exhibits anymore. I could be wrong though.

I do not agree with every program though. I am not happy with the Georgia Aquarium's attempt at keeping whale sharks. I was not happy with that great white in California either. But that example worked out well, the shark lived, was released, and in between a whole bunch of people got a chance to see that magnificant animal up close, and perhaps more importantly, with divers in the water, saw that they aren't the creatures Peter Benchly wrote about. It would take tens or hundreds of Discovery channel shows to reach that many people with that clear and strong a message.

I don't like seeing polar bears in captivity, they don't do well at all. Most animals, dolphins and orca included, adapt quite well to captivity, but many polar bears do not. OTH one day in the not so distant future zoos may be the only place on Earth where polar bears live at all.

Sorry for being longwinded, and I hope I don't come across as condescending at all, I am not trying to preach or anything. It's just wildlife conservation is something I am very passionate about. Along the way I learned how important zoos and aquariums were, and how important people like Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin are to keep the fight in peoples faces, minds and hearts. It is a war, and one that currently we are still losing. But the tide is turning and I have hope for the future...

Edited by ScubaDrew, 24 January 2008 - 10:18 AM.

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#23 Basslet

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:19 AM

The GW in Monterey was initially caught accidentally. It wasn't captured to be put on display like the whalesharks in Georgia were. The aquarium did a great job of taking care of her and educating the public about GWs, and when I watched the TV show about her, I actually cried when she was successfully released. I have no problem with aquariums keeping fish. But intelligent creatures like dolphins are a different story. As for the baseline being that they must be doing well because they are breeding, the Africans kidnapped in Africa and brought to this country and others to be slaves bred in captivity too.

#24 Latitude Adjustment

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 12:22 PM

Some dolphins must like being bums and not have to look for food, in Key Largo when the fence was cut they didn't leave and there are other places that let them out to swim with divers but they go back in for dinner.
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#25 Basslet

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 12:30 PM

Some dolphins must like being bums and not have to look for food,

Sounds like some of the women you go out with. :D

Well, if they were bred in captivity and don't know how to hunt then, yeah, they are not going to know how to do it and will come back to be fed.

Edited by Fairybasslet, 24 January 2008 - 12:31 PM.


#26 pir8

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 12:47 PM

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#27 Latitude Adjustment

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 02:18 PM

Some dolphins must like being bums and not have to look for food,

Sounds like some of the women you go out with. :D


Hey, If you don't talk about the woman I feed I won't talk about your sex change avitar on D2D :D
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#28 Basslet

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 02:35 PM

Hey, If you don't talk about the woman I feed I won't talk about your sex change avitar on D2D :D

That's no sex change. He's my honey. :D

#29 BubbleBoy

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 10:18 PM

Do you remember that old Star Trek where Capt. Kirk was kept in a cage by aliens with superior intellect, or more accurately, better technology?


Yea, I hear ya. You've got a point. But, when I see William Shatner today, I kind of wish they had kept him in that cage. If we are ever approached by real aliens to provide a study candidate, I say we give them Shatner without a fight.

Come to think of it, you may have hit on the solution to this whole debate. Lets put Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, TomKat, and Branjolina in a big bubble and drop them in the ocean. Tit for tat. If the dophins can study and understand their behavior, then we will truly know dolphins are smarter than the rest of us humans. :thankyou:

Edited by BubbleBoy, 25 January 2008 - 09:40 AM.

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