Target: Clearwater Aquarium Chief Executive David Yates
Goal: Thank Florida Aquarium for scrapping their planned dolphin show
Clearwater Marine Aquarium has decided to scale back their new dolphin entertainment stadium and instead return to rescuing and rehabilitating dolphins to be released back in the ocean. They are cancelling all of their plans to host highly profitable dolphin shows in their newly built stadium. This is a step in the right direction for an aquarium that has been getting a lot of angry feedback from animal activists about their original proposed plan.
Clearwater Aquarium’s chief executive, David Yates, made the statement when discussing plans for the facility’s $160 million dollar expansion. The new facility was supposed to include a large dolphin stadium to show off their three dolphins, including their star dolphin, Winter. Many years ago, the aquarium rescued her and gave her a prosthetic tail. She went on to star in the 2011 film, Dolphin Tale, a movie inspired by her miraculous rescue. Her appearance in the movie helped the number of visitors to the aquarium soar after the film’s release. Animal welfare advocates were extremely angry and accused the aquarium of using Winter as a gimmick to sell tickets and merchandise.
According to the Tampa Tribune, the aquarium has cancelled the dolphin stadium plan, which is saving the company close to $100 million dollars. Yates said that they will no longer be in the entertainment business and will be focusing instead on rescuing marine animals and preparing them for a life back in the wild upon recovery. Although the aquarium does not have choreographed dolphin shows, the public can still purchase tickets to watch the dolphin tanks while trainers put them through numerous behavioral tasks.
Although not all animal welfare advocates are convinced that Clearwater Aquarium will abandon the stadium, their declaration to help rescue and rehabilitate dolphins and desert the stadium idea is a first step in the right direction.
Please sign this petition to thank Clearwater Aquarium’s chief executive David Yates for pulling the plug on a new stadium and opting to use the facilities as a rescue center for dolphins.
Dear David Yates,
Thank you for scaling back your original plan and settling on the right focus for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium facility. So many dolphins are suffering in captivity and forced to perform tricks for human entertainment. These animals go through so much mental and emotional stress to perform in shows at water parks and zoos. Research even shows that dolphins in captivity have a higher mortality rate than dolphins in the wild.
Thank you for stopping the construction of the dolphin stadium and for committing to rescuing and rehabilitating dolphins to prepare them for a stress-free life back in the wild.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mark Interrante via Wikimedia Commons