Target: Indianapolis Zoo CEO Dan Appel
Goal: Release five captive dolphins that were caught in the wild
Dolphins are incredibly intelligent and social animals with complex interpersonal structures within their communities. When we catch dolphins in the wild and transport them to zoos, we are essentially kidnapping members of a close-knit group and holding them prisoners for our own entertainment.
Recently, the National Aquarium in Baltimore considered retiring its dolphins, and protesters called for the Indianapolis Zoo to follow suit and release its captive dolphins back into the wild. Five of the nine dolphins at the Indianapolis zoo were captured in the wild, meaning they could easily be released back into the ocean and would be able to sustain themselves.
The Indianapolis Zoo does not have a good track record when it comes to the cetaceans. The Indiana Animal Rights Alliance reports that out of 28 dolphins that have been born at the Indianapolis zoo, only four of the animals have survived. The zoo insists that it takes great veterinary care of the dolphins and that the animals receive the highest medical care, but that does not address the emotional stress that such social and sentient animals endure by being held captive.
Please sign this petition to demand that the Indianapolis zoo release these incredible and intelligent animals back into the wild where they belong.
Dear Dan Appel,
I am writing to ask you to please consider releasing at least five of your captive dolphins back into the wild. Dolphins are sentient, intelligent creatures and keeping them contained against their will is cruel and unusual. Because five of your dolphins were born in the wild, they could easily be released back into the ocean where they were born.
As a community of animal lovers who are fascinated by these amazing creatures, our deeper understanding of their intelligence and emotional life should lead us to make changes in the way that we deal with these animals. Please release your captive dolphins back into the wild, and stop exploiting them for human entertainment.
Image Credit: sheilapic76 via Wikimedia Commons