Target: Anatoly Pakhomov, Mayor of Sochi, Russia
Goal: Release the Black Sea Bottlenose dolphin being trained for the Winter Olympics
The city of Sochi, Russia – the site of the upcoming 2014 winter Olympics – plans on using a wild-caught Black Sea bottlenose dolphin as the torchbearer before the opening ceremony. This dolphin species is listed as an endangered animal; the capture and use of this dolphin for entertainment should not be tolerated.
The Black Sea bottlenose dolphin is endangered due to over-zealous wild capture. Despite their endangered status, ten to twenty of these dolphins are taken from the wild each year and sold into the entertainment industry. Using a Black Sea bottlenose dolphin in the Olympic Games is a destructive decision. It encourages over-fishing for human entertainment and consumption, puts entertainment before environmental consciousness, and subjects yet another intelligent marine mammal to a lifetime of captivity. All this when many young nations are moving away from animal abuse.
Urge the mayor of Sochi, and ultimately Russia, to free the wild-caught animals scheduled for the Winter Olympics of 2014. Wild animals do not belong in the Olympic Games.
Dear Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov,
I am writing to voice my disapproval of the decision to use a Black Sea bottlenose dolphin as torchbearer for the Winter Olympics of 2014. The Black Sea bottlenose dolphin is listed as endangered on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. This particular species is on this list due to live capture for the entertainment industry; training the dolphin to be torchbearer sends the wrong message to patrons of the Winter Olympics.
The Olympics are about highlighting the amazing capabilities and feats of human beings. Capturing an endangered animal from the ocean to use for entertainment is cowardly, and it does not suggest that humans are extraordinary. Using this wild-caught dolphin implies that over-fishing our oceans is okay for entertainment purposes and environmental consciousness is not mandatory. This is not the kind of publicity that should be generated by the Winter Olympics.
Mayor Pakhomov, I urge you to release the captured Black Sea bottlenose dolphin. This highly intelligent animal deserves to be free, back with its family, in its natural environment. Do not subject this magnificent creature to the horrors of the marine mammal entertainment industry.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: NASAs via Wikimedia