Dolphins, orcas, porpoises, seals and sea lions are used in circus shows put on by dolphinariums and other aquatic facilities.
These animals will be confined for life in small swimming pools without any kind of environmental enrichment, in which they cannot develop their natural behaviours, or satisfy their physiological needs.
This situation of captivity causes great emotional suffering, stress, frustration, aggressiveness and various health problems.
It is common practice to administer sedatives upon the animals to avoid abnormal behaviours, as well as giving the males steroids to reduce their aggressiveness and improve their performance in the show.
The captive population is not sufficient to maintain this growing industry, and therefore the capturing of wild animals to be sent to these centres is increasing.
In the case of dolphins, given their high sociability and group cohesion, the capture of one individual can profoundly affect the social structures of the herd and the large population to which it belongs. Furthermore, due to the stress caused by the hunt which the groups are subjected to, many of the dolphins which are not captured die, the pregnant females can suffer miscarriages, and mothers can stop suckling, leading to the death of their young.
The captured animals will suffer the traumatic experience of being separated from their family and dragged from their natural habitat, exchanging the vast ocean for a cement tank in which they can only swim in circles. Many do not survive this process.
For the rest, a life of exploitation begins, in which they will be subjected to hard training to make them carry out so called “dances” and acrobatics to the rhythm of music. The training is based on food deprivation, in such a way that they will only be given food if they carry out the performance correctly.
Their lives are stolen, exploited, ruined and converted into grotesque caricatures under the oppression of slavery and domination.