“The hotel, which is independently owned and operated, informed us that the facility is in a separate building from the hotel and is owned and operated by a third party,” a customer care representative for Best Western Hotels & Resorts told The Dodo. “We were also advised that the facility has an altruistic purpose — it is operated as a dolphin assisted therapy (“DAT”) facility that is used to increase speech and motor skills in patients (primarily children) with developmental, physical, and emotional conditions, such as Down syndrome and autism.”
“Regardless of the above, and recognizing that there can be a difference of opinions with regard to the matter, the Best Western Paradise Hotel Dilijan, Armenia, has advised Best Western that it has terminated its relationship with the DAT facility,” the representative added. “We recognize the concerns raised and ask that you direct future inquiries to the facility.”
While Best Western Hotels & Resorts claims to have cut ties with the DAT facility, the dolphins are still trapped inside the hotel pool. If they stay there any longer, their lives could be at risk, Jared Goodman, director of animal law at the PETA Foundation, told The Dodo.