Dolphins do not swim with people, “kiss” people and tow people because they like to — they do it because they have to. They are trained to do it, otherwise, they do not eat.
There is also a danger to the public. People can be rammed into or bitten by dolphins during these programmes, and the companies hush those kinds of accidents up.
The dolphins are removed from the two most important things in their lives: their freedom and their family.
Dolphins are trained by giving them a reward when they do a trick right. If they don’t do the trick correctly, they don’t eat. Dolphins are the only zoo animal that has to work for their food, every day.
Some swim-with-dolphin programmes are worse than others, but they are all bad – bad for the dolphins and bad for people. A lot have very serious problems with water quality. Many don’t care about keeping the dolphins alive – they can just go and get more from Taiji or other places like Russia and Cuba. Regardless, dolphins do not belong in captivity.
People see the dolphin smile and they think everything is alright. It’s not alright. Dolphins smile because that is the way their faces are built for swimming through the water. They do not have muscles on their faces like we do to show their emotions. A dead dolphin is still a smiling dolphin!