Although there are a few facilities that house rough-tooth dolphins(many of them are based in Asia), there is only one facility in North America that currently houses an entire pod of these little-known offshore mammals and that facility is known as Gulf World in Panama City, Florida. In fact, they are currently the only known zoological facility in the entire western world to house a resident pod in its care. Currently, Gulf World has six of these still-little known marine mammals, who were all rescued, rehabilitated, but were all deemed to be non-releasable by the US government for various reasons. In addition, they work with a group of researchers from the Rough-Tooth Project, who are trying to determine if the species, like the bottlenose dolphins, have a signature whistle of their very own.
Earlier this month, I wrote and published an article on how PETA was attempting to take advantage of the bush fires that were affecting Australian wildlife and why people should not give a single penny to them. Upon its publication, and to my own surprise, the article blew to the point where it had a lot more readers than I originally expected when I publish my articles on Vocal. One of those readers was Kitty (not her real name), a former PETA employee who was so devastated about the news regarding the fires in the land down under that she donated to the WIRES Organization. She described her time at PETA as being vicious and so, she shared her story to me, which I have been given permission to share with all of you.
Having to have grown up visiting the New England coastline with my family every spring and fall, I had been fortunate enough to have experienced marine wildlife that was pretty much close to home. I have seen a number of marine mammal species such as Atlantic white-sided dolphins, North Atlantic right whales, grey seals, humpback whales, minke whales, and of course, fin whales. In addition, I had also grown up seeing other marine species that are often found in New England waters like swordfish, blue sharks, and even a great white shark. Seeing such marine wildlife has inspired me to not only know more about the Gulf of Maine’s marine ecosystem, but it also inspired me to work with animals, and even educate others on marine ecosystems and what they can do to protect it.
It has been all over the news since the start of the new year and there is no arguing that Australia is facing a crisis that is not caused by war, nor plague, nor by some form of economic depression, but one that has been caused by an ongoing series of wildfires that have spread throughout the nation. Hundreds of people now face the possibility of being homeless for more than 32,000 square miles of land having to have been damaged by the fires and more than 120 blazes still being active in southern parts of the country.
This past October, Ric O’Barry, a radical animal rights extremist who is known for starring in the biased documentary, The Cove, and having long-time ties to other radical groups like PETA, and Orca Network, announced that he and his staff have opened their very own sea-pen based facility for bottlenose dolphins in Bali. O’Barry claims that the facility is the “first” to be a “sanctuary” for dolphins who have spent a number of years in marine zoological facilities. The “sanctuary”, which is located in Banyuwedang Bay, has been raising a number of concerns among zoo professionals for a number of reasons.