Female dolphins are referred to as “cows” in the same way as “bull” and “calf” are also used to denote the gender or age of large animals. Many dolphins, male and female, are certainly cash cows for the entertainment industry.
Mastercard is currently offering discounted tickets to the infamous Resorts World Sentosa, a resort in Singapore that recently captured 27 wild dolphins for an exhibit. Two of the dolphins have already died. Statistics show that another dozen or so are unlikely to survive their first two years of captivity.
When the show is over and the crowds go home, captive dolphins are usually to be found lying listlessly on the surface of the water or swimming aimlessly in circles. They’re exposed to bacteria that causes disease and blindness. If you see them repetitively banging their heads on the side of the tank, it’s likely mental illness has set in.
In the wild, bottlenose dolphins often swim 40 miles a day, spending only 10-20 percent of their time on the surface. They can hold their breath for as long as 20 minutes and dive to depths of more than 1640 feet. They use sonar to explore their environment, catch fish, avoid predators and locate other dolphins. It’s as important to them as eyesight is to us. When they’re confined to boring concrete tanks, they’re effectively deprived of the use of their sonar.
Dolphins live in family/social groups known as pods. These strong social bonds are traumatically sundered when a dolphin is captured. Traumatic not only for the captured dolphin, but also for the pod that suffers the sudden and permanent loss of one of its number. There are a lot of captive-bred dolphins. It’s not even necessary to take them from the wild.
There are some things money can’t buy. It can’t buy the welfare of these precious animals and Mastercard should cancel its ticket discount promotion to pressurise Resorts World Sentosa into setting the poor things free.
See also: The smile is just a mirage