The reason not to take your child to a dolphin show

no to dolphin show

Must know this about Dolphin Shows!

A few years ago I had an image in my head swimming with dolphins or see a dolphin show. They are amazingly intelligent creatures with an adorable smile. But: I am glad I didn’t!

A dolphin’s smile is the greatest deception. It creates the illusion that they’re always happy.― Ric O’Barry

Let’s talk about Mr. O’Barry

If you don`t know Ric, you must google him. His story is extraordinary, the man behind the TV series called “Flipper.” The series was a success. People adored the character who played by five different Dolphins all trained by Mr. O`Barry.

But soon after the series ended a strange thing happened which changed Mr. O`Barry forever. One of the dolphins Kathy did not resurface which stunned him an idea started to develop that dolphin might not belong to a fish tank.

It was a bit late as a mega industry grew to exploit the flipper phenomena. So after the turning point, Richard O`Barry has dedicated his life to freeing and saving dolphins from captivity.

There is a tiny place called Taiji with a population around 3400.

dolphin hunt

It would be a place out of sight if he did not create the famous documentary “The Cove” which won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2010. You must watch! I promise you won’t go anywhere near a dolphin show.

The documentary shows in great detail how dolphins are gathered together at the annual dolphin hunt to capture them (they are the luckier ones maybe) to sell for theme parks around the globe, and the rest who does not make through the selection process will die in the cove.

Shocking Effect

That picture is brutal as the water slowly changes its color to red while you hear and then later see what’s those innocent dolphin`s fate. It grabbed me from the beginning and in the end I was shocked. But hey what was I thinking?

I couldn`t possibly believe that those dolphins at the parks just one by one decided to apply for a job at Seaworld to do tricks in the dolphin show so you and I can have a good time!! Sadly I needed 33 years to face the brutal truth hidden behind the entertainment.

Ever since I try to educate people and tell them about my visual experience but believe me when I say that people still closing their eyes and ears.

Never pushy or reacting with anger when some of my “not so close friends” posting an image with a dolphin. I understand they don`t have the knowledge about this topic. All I do I try to prevent it happening again, so fewer dolphins have to die so I usually react with a gentle message.

Not once a person said:

Well, I did not know, but I am glad you told me so I can spread the world.

Maybe ignorance or perhaps guilt. Either way, it does not paint a beautiful picture of that person, so I usually decide they reacted like this then they are not the kind of individuals I want to surround myself. I look up to Mr. O`Barry.

I know the truth now, still I couldn’t do what he does. But I do small things. Inform people, talk about it. I am using my words and if only one person decides to skip dolphin show because of me than I did my part.

Parents often say:

Kids don`t know or would not understand this, and they have to see the animals they would not see otherwise.

Let’s disagree on that.

Kids are ready to learn that holding an animal captive for entertainment is unacceptable including in circus and zoo. I believe every parent should let the kids see animals in their natural habitat.


It is so simple to show and teach using the internet or watch an excellent documentary on TV. And then let them set a goal that one day they will go and see them while surfing on the beach or diving in the ocean. Why choose the easy and unethical way? Just because it is convenient?

Kids do not know that a zoo exists until we tell them, they don`t know that they can see orcas and dolphins in a theme park until we tell them.

Please choose another approach and talk about their beautiful life swimming together in a large pod jumping, playing, hunting together.


The good news is that thanks to the popularity of The Cove and The Blackfish documentaries and thousands of activists, parents around the world some change has been forced onto the industry.

As a result of the documentaries mentioned people raised their voices and made a difference by donating, sharing, writing, talking, protesting against the big bad guys (Seaworld). Change is slowly coming, but a lot more needs to be done.

Now you know why I will never go to a dolphin show

If you like to know how you can participate, please visit The Dolphin Project website.

In a world where so much that is wild and free has been lost to us, we must leave these beautiful animals free to swim as they will and must. They do us no harm and wish us none, and we should let them alone.-Ric O`Barry




Istvan Hetesi

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