This is because aquarium management know that after the death of a captive, performing animal, much like when a human dies, people naturally tend to reflect upon the life of that animal. And this is the one thing that aquariums don't want people thinking about, lest they discover that a life in captivity isn't much of a life at all.
The cornerstone of the this plan is to label anyone who dares ask questions or raises the ethics of captivity as "callous" and "unfeeling" for attacking them in their hour of grief.
But this time, the Vancouver Aquarium's crack communications team slipped up and pointed the finger at themselves.
Most people - say, upon the loss of a companion animal - would take some time to grieve before entertaining finding a new companion. It's sign of caring, a symbol of respect for a life-long friend.
Yet, even before Hana had passed, Vancouver Aquarium management weretalking about replacing her with another dolphin.
It's a coldhearted admission by the aquarium that highlights a fundamental truth they normally take great pains to hide from the public: As much as the staff and volunteers may have a genuine affection for the animals, the whales and dolphins at Vancouver Aquarium are, first and foremost, a commodity.