Plans to build yet another dolphin exploitation facility on the Gulf Coast are in the works. A new development wants to feature captive dolphins, who will suffer terribly within the confines of their concrete tanks if these plans go through. We must act now to prevent dolphins from being included in this facility!
The "Bama Bayou" is a $300 million-dollar project that seeks to redevelop a major piece of property in Orange Beach, Alabama. It is currently being considered by the Orange Park City Council and will include a convention center, water park, hotels, and a marine mammal "experience."
Captive dolphin facilities are nothing more than horribly depressing prisons for dolphins, simultaneously teaching people incorrect ideas about how they should interact with animals. It is never okay to dominate dolphins by keeping them in cramped tanks which are wholly unnatural and to prevent them from being able to make any meaningful choices about their lives.
Dolphins are often fed anti-depressant drugs and are kept perpetually hungry in order to compel them to perform circus-like tricks for human audiences. In the wild, dolphins can live upwards of 50 years, yet in captivity, life expectancy can be half of that. Dolphins are frequently chronically stressed, suffer skin illnesses from excess chlorine, and can be mentally exhausted which sometimes leads to self-harm and even suicide.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone is happy about the Bama Bayou plans which do not account for shifting public attitudes regarding keeping dolphins as captives. In the wake of documentaries such as Blackfish and The Cove, which highlight the life-long suffering that cetaceans endure in captivity, the industry has been struggling worldwide.
Canada is currently considering a bill that could permanently outlaw dolphin captivity throughout the country, and Mexico City passed similar legislation last year. SeaWorld, the global industry leader, has agreed to phase out orca captivity and cease circus-style performances. Possibly in light of these recent developments, Rachel Carbary, Executive Director of Empty the Tanks, said, "It seemed as though the City was also cautious about the issue of having captive dolphins in the community," after she spoke with the Orange Beach City Council about the Bama Bayou project. The time to weigh in is right now!
Now is the time for people from across the country to speak up and let decision makers know that dolphin captivity is not an acceptable form of entertainment or an educational experience. Please call and email today.
1. Call the Orange Beach City Council: 251-981-6979
If someone answers, ask to leave a message with the Mayor's office regarding the Bama Bayou project. Otherwise, please leave a message on voicemail.
Script: I support community initiatives, like the Bama Bayou, that seek to provide economic revitalization to communities. However, including dolphins in these plans is cruel and unnecessary, and can be financially risky due to increasing criticisms and a growing awareness of the suffering cetaceans experience in captivity. Please do not include captive dolphins in the Bama Bayou!
2. Send our letter.
No Dolphins in Bama Bayou!
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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