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Holidays For Humans Only: What Do Marine Animal Shows Teach Children?

The stadiums for an orca show and a dolphin show were both fully packed this weekend at Kamogawa SeaWorld. Captive orcas and dolphins perform every single day in August. They do flips, play ball, jump through hoops and even swim with a trainer on their backs.

Facilities that train and use wild animals for performances usually insist that they encourage the public to understand how great and various the abilities of these animals are. However, it is impossible to show their extraordinary diving and swimming ability in a pool, no matter how large it is.

10 years ago, I heard from a dolphin trainer that a bottle-nosed dolphin died after hitting his head on the floor of a pool while playing with the other dolphins. When we consider that they swim 6-15 kilometers per hour, such an accident could easily happen. This is the first time I have deeply felt how unnatural it is to keep marine mammals in artificial captivity.

Japanese children have about a month holiday in summer. It will end soon. Many children seemed to enjoy the shows at Kamogawa SeaWorld. I wonder what they have learned about wildlife.