POLL: Should the keeping of dolphins in captivity be banned?

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Mexico City has just banned keeping dolphins in , and advocates are hoping the rest of the country will soon follow in putting an end to confinement and exploitation.

The Mexico City Congress, which recognized that dolphins are sentient beings who suffer in captivity, just passed a law that bans the use of dolphins for public display, therapy, scientific research, training and entertainment, including swim with programs, and has established a new system of fines for anyone caught breaking the new laws.

The only facility in Mexico City currently keeping dolphins is Six Flags Mexico, which is owned by Dolphin Discovery. The President of the Environment Commission, Xavier López Adame, stressed that the facility is ranked among the worst offenders on In Defense of Animals’ (IDA) Top Ten list of the Worst Tanks for Dolphins and Whales in North America.

A dolphin plays with hoops during a training session in the Dolphinarium on the main embankment of the Crimean city of Sevastopol, Ukraine Photo: EPA

Six Flags, which became well-known for holding Keiko, the used in “Free Willy,” was included on the list for its troubling treatment of bottlenose dolphins. Aside from keeping them in barren tanks in the middle of an amusement park where they are forced to perform unnatural acts to amuse visitors, the staff also spread misinformation about how they enjoy their lives in captivity.

The park was also included for offering swim-programs, where dolphins are trained to perform behaviors that make it seem like they love guests. IDA added, “As in other Dolphin Discovery parks, dolphins are coerced to give rides where people grab and hang onto their dorsal and pectoral fins and to give “kisses,” “hugs” and “handshakes.”

Soon, however, this heartbreaking exploitation of dolphins will all be coming to an end, and the news is being celebrated by animal advocates and a number of whale and dolphin advocacy organizations.

Although it’s not yet clear what will happen to the dolphins currently in Mexico City, Six Flags now has three months to come into compliance with the new laws, and supporters hope that the ban will help set a precedent for other areas to follow. According to WDC, there are still more than 30 facilities in Mexico that are holding approximately 300 dolphins captive.

“The best way to bring about change for the common good is by example. Kudos to our friends and colleagues in Mexico, as well as deputy López Adame and the coordinators of parties in the local Mexico City Congress for enacting this positive step for dolphins. We encourage the rest of the country to follow in Mexico City’s footsteps and ban all captive dolphin displays,” said Ric O’Barry, Founder and Director of the Dolphin Project.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 03 Aug 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether the keeping of dolphins in captivity should be banned? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should the keeping of dolphins in captivity be banned?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop . By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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yes it should be banned and well done to Mexico City.

Frida Nyberg

Of course not. All data shows that they are thriving, and doing absolutely fantastic in human care. Everything these antis have to go on is propaganda, lies, emotion, and pseudoscience.

Denise Se


Norma Hurt

I feel like yes but thin when they are free, they are slaughtering them right and left. so its really hard to answer..

Navin Vethanayagam

Voted yes

Carol Anne Coughlin

Voted Yes

Solem de Guzman

Signed. Yes.

Holly Sandoval-Hutton


Rena Andersch

of course it should be banned any captivity of animals is a crime and should be banned and punished. All animals should and must be confiscated.

Helen Morton Cameron
Helen Morton Cameron

No dolphin should be kept in vile pools for the entertainment of man.The capture of dolphins in Taji,Japan is extremely cruel many die.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

how cruel we as a species are…and yet we dare to see ourselves as superior…what a sick joke!!!

MaryBeth Breit


Maria Anna Mavromichalis

yes all animals should be free and not hunted either!!!!!!!

Linda Badham
Linda Badham

wtf kind of people say no

Linda Savage
Linda Savage

Yes of course!

Pamela Bass


Paula Mischel


Connie Wessel


Marla Briggs


Debby Lindsay

Dolphins are migratory sentient beings that need the pod (which they stay in as a family for life) except males which form their own. It is absolute abuse to keep them in pools. The only ones that should be captive are the ones that need a santuary because they are harmed or need medical attention.PERIOD. anyone who says other wise is not wise.

Lela Gary


Diane Seeber


Barry Frederick Baudains

Thought it was a trick question, of course Yes.

Judie C. Zehr


Kathy Carlin


Chandra Kulupana

Voted “YES”

Akshar Goyal

Yes, especially at SeaWorld

Rikki Salty

yet it should, what the heck, people throwing rings around them, how would u like to be forced to do this everyday when all u should be doing is swimming freely!

Linda Kabelowsky


Andrei Hanches

Highly problematic for several reasons.It is true that cetaceans are very social intelligent and can understand many things about the world around them.But most trials in understanding animal behavior have been tested and proved on captive dolphins as well as wild.And what about the therapy with captive dolphins? They can save human lives after all..The real issue is the mass killing of dolphins in fish-nets around the world.

Miala Wagen

OUI نعم

Carol Coupe

Yes the people that put them there should be in cages instead, then we can point and laugh at them when they are made to do tricks

Ira Vukusic Sikljan


Kim Barrington


Dieter Reger


Dixie Shelton


Rita Gonzalez Palmeiro