A cost for an entertainment dolphin can be between $28,000 and $285,000.
While in captivity, dolphins are kept on an empty stomach that way they will be willing to perform during a show. Keep in mind that these behaviors are unnatural and so is their environment.
They live immersed in chlorine-bleached waters, surrounded by concrete walls that bounce back any sound that the dolphins may make. This drives dolphins crazy, as they are very auditory creatures.
Dolphins are also forced to live in groups of strangers. The groups have been artificially created by humans, and are composed of dolphins of different families and therefore different dialects. Just think of yourself being surrounded in a jail cell with someone that does not speak the same language as your own.
The lack of stimuli cause dolphins to experience boredom and the size of the tank - also lack of exercise.
To keep them mentally stable, trainers will therefore stick anti-depressants into their food (via Born Free USA).
Most people would agree that exploiting dolphins for our own entertainment is wrong. Despite this, people continue to claim that they have healing powers and can help humans in various ways.