In the wild, dolphins don’t need to be given water through a tube — they get all the hydration they need from the fish they eat. But this dolphin lives in captivity at the Taiji Whale Museum in Taiji, Japan, and she doesn’t have the freedom to find her own fish. Instead, she has to rely on handouts of frozen fish. When defrosted, frozen fish loses most of its water, which is why the dolphins need this extra hydration.
While the tubing process itself wouldn’t necessarily hurt the dolphin, Heather Rally, a marine mammal veterinarian who currently works with the PETA Foundation, explained that the dolphin definitely wouldn’t like it.
“It is likely uncomfortable to the dolphin, and can cause irritation to the esophagus or introduce unwanted pathogens if not performed correctly,” Rally told The Dodo. “Tubing is another in a long line of unnatural procedures imposed upon animals like dolphins and whales who are kept in captivity — a health risk in and of itself — out of necessity to help keep them alive in a foreign environment unsuitable to their long-term well-being.”