Argumentative Essay on the Pros and Cons of Dolphins Living in Captivity

Topics: Nature, Natural environment, Biodiversity Pages: 5 (2023 words) Published: October 8, 2010
Argumentative Essay on the Pros and Cons of Dolphins Living in Captivity versus the Pros and Cons of Dolphins Living in the Wild.

The Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus) are probably the most popular species of dolphins around. Coming under the order of Cetecea and the family of Delphinidae, the bottlenose dolphins are closely related to whales and are highly intelligent creatures (source 7). They are widely distributed around the world in the deep tropical and sub-tropical seas as well as other warm regions. For this reason, there is no recorded global estimate of the number of Bottlenose Dolphins in this world. According to source 9, it is regarded as a common cetacean, and too large and strong to be captured by accident. Dolphins, as well as many other marine mammals (polar bears and whales) are the main attractions of all animal public display industries around the world. Tourists draw like flies to honey at the mention of a particularly good marine park, naming SeaWorld as an example. However, many animal lovers agree that it is cruel to keep animals in captivity while there are others who argue that in order to understand these animals better as well as to conserve them, we need to keep them in captivity. Now, let’s look at both sides of the argument. On one hand, we weigh the pros and cons of animals, particularly dolphins, living in captivity. One of the strongest arguments to be had for keeping animals in captivity is for the sake of educating the public on the wildlife habits as well as environmental issues (source 2). By doing so, the public would ideally become more compassionate towards animals and more environmental friendly. Going a little further, these animals are often held captive for the purpose of researchers’ studies and observation of the animal’s habits. Being able to understand the ways of dolphins would aid the biologists to formulate more ways that would aid and benefit the animals. Conservation is also a big plus when it comes to reasoning with animal captivity. According to source 4, to keep species from extinction, sanctuaries and parks have captured threatened species in hope of maintaining their existence. This was further proven with a statement from source 8 saying, “If natural or human factors have made a species' own habitat a threatening environment then human intervention can preserve that species where it would certainly go extinct if there were no intervention.” They have worked hard toward stemming the steady decrease in the population of endangered species by using methods of preserving sperm samples from males to ensure future generations of the species as well as artificial insemination in a female to maintain the population numbers (source 5). Through this, we are also able to avoid inbreeding of species which may lead to genetic problems in the certain animal. Furthermore, it cannot be denied that dolphins living in captivity have need to fear of being hunted, going hungry and protecting their young. With medical care amply available, diseases and injuries are well treated. However, the very nature of dolphins make the particularly unsuited for captivity. It is clarified in source 3 that dolphins live in large close-knit groups (called pods), they hunt communally and entire coastlines are at their disposal. Dolphins are constantly moving, constantly swimming. The tight confinement of a glass tank like in SeaWorld which leaves them few things to do besides swim around in circles, is nothing like the wide-ranging stimulation of their natural environment. No facility can adequately simulate the vast ocean or provide for a dolphin's needs. No captive program, no matter how large, well regulated, well funded, or well intentioned, can meet a dolphin's complex behavioural. Often enough, dolphins in captivity being forced to live with others of their own species, do not always get along with their tank-mates (source 1). Furthermore, in argument to the cause of...

Bibliography: Source 1 | Anon, 2010, Dolphins in Captivity: FAQ, viewed 3 March 2010, World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), <>. |
Source 2 | Anon, 2010, Zoos and Conservation, viewed 26 February 2010, Young Peoples’ Trust for the Environment (YPTE), <>. |
Source 3 | Anon, 2009, Marine Mammals in Captivity, viewed 3 March 2010, The Humane Society of the United States, <>. |
Source 4 | Anon, ND, Marine Mammals in Captivity, viewed 3 March 2010, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS), <>. |
Source 5 | Anon, ND, Shark Bites and Sea Sex, viewed 27 February 2010, Melbourne Aquarium, <>. |
Source 6 | Blackshaw, JK ND, Chapter 10 – Wild Animals in Captivity, viewed 3 March 2010,, <>. |
Source 7 | Carwardine, M 1995, Dolphins and Porpoises – the Visual Guide to all the World’s Cetaceans, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London. |
Source 8 | Dixon, T 2009, Zoos, viewed 3 March 2010, International Debate Education Association (IDEA), <>. |
Source 9 | Sylvestre, JP 1995, Dolphins and Porpoises – a Worldwide Guide, Sterling Publishing Company Inc., New York. |
Source 10 | Möller, L ND, Bottlenose Dolphins in Australia - Current Knowledge and Future Research, viewed 5 March 2010, < >. |
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