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MYTHS AND REALITIES



In Dolphin Discovery, we are proud of our Dolphin family and of the way we take care of them. In the next paragraphs, you will find certain information that revoke some myths about these marine mammals. There’s only someone who loves Dolphins the way you do...Dolphin Discovery.

MYTHThe most common training technique is depriving Dolphins from food.

    Reality

  • Dolphin Discovery communicate with its Dolphins with a technique known as positive reinforcement; this means that Dolphins learn that after every correct behavior they will be rewarded with toys, petting or food; our Dolphins ALWAYS receive their maximum healthy diet of fish each day.
  • Our international certifications back us up in this matter. Dolphin Discovery is the only Company in the world having a training School for marine animals trainers, named ABC animal training.
  • Our Dolphins’ diet is designed by our team of more than 25 veterinarians, specialized in cetaceans. A balanced diet and a professional team improve the life span in our marine mammals.
MYTHIsolating Dolphins is a common technique used to train Dolphins even though in the wilderness they live in pods of up to 100 animals.

    Reality

  • Our Dolphins live in pods and their habitats allow them to live long and healthy lives. Dolphin Habitats such as Isla Mujeres and Cozumel have more than 20 Dolphins interacting with each other in the same area.
  • Their excellent health and high rates of reproduction are proof of Dolphin Discovery’s healthy Dolphin Habitats. The birth of calves in our Dolphin Habitats represents 50% of our Dolphin population.
  • Mexican Law, requires dolphinariums to have special areas of a smaller size to assist pregnant Dolphins or medical cases. Dolphin Discovery fulfills these norms and we have inspection certifications that endorse it. Under no circumstances are these spaces used for isolation, as a training technique or lifestyle for our Dolphins.
MYTHThe Dolphins' anatomy makes it look like they are smiling but this doesn’t mean that they are happy.

    Reality

  • We can corroborate their mental state based on their body language and ethology.
  • Interacting with humans in the water is in fact a very stimulating activity for Dolphins that builds an emotional bond.
  • Reproduction is also a great sign that our Dolphins are in excellent health. Through our 22 years, more than 113 calves have been successfully born and still live with us. Dolphin Discovery is widely recognized as one of the most successful reproduction programs in the world.
MYTHA captive Dolphin suffers of high stress that turn it aggressive.

    Reality

  • For our Dolphins, interacting with humans is a normal, yet stimulating part of their daily lives. At Dolphin Discovery, our well-balanced swim program provides excitement as well as a sense of comfort and safety, for both the Dolphins and our guests.
  • A team of trainers with more than 110 years of experience look after the welfare of our housed Dolphins and marine mammals.
  • The AMMPA (Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums) certifies the quality and safety of our programs. Dolphin Discovery has the most Dolphin Habitats certified by this organization, which demonstrates our commitment to raising the standards for habitats everywhere.
MYTHDolphins’ skin and eyes get burnt from the chlorine used to maintain the transparency of the pool waters.

    Reality

  • At Dolphin Discovery most of our Dolphin Habitats are in the ocean, the Dolphins' natural environment. On the other hand, our newest in-land Dolphin facilities use state-of-the-art ozone water filtration, which is harmless for animals and allows us to keep chlorine levels extremely low. Chlorine levels are monitored by the hour, both manually and automatically.
  • In our ocean Dolphin Habitats, Dolphin lagoons and our in-land Dolphin facilities, AMMPA (Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums) certifies the water quality.
MYTHEvery year 250,000 Dolphins are captured to exhibit in shows. Some die from shock and others are injured or abandoned. Less than 50% arrive to their final destinations alive.

    Reality

  • Since 2004, importation and exportation of Marine Mammals has been banned in Mexico.
  • Dolphin Discovery created its reproduction program as a sustainable future for the animals. The success of our reproduction program includes our Manatees and Sea Lions too.
  • No Dolphin at any Dolphin Discovery facility comes from either Japan or the Solomon Islands. In fact, defending the environment is a key component of our corporate policies on sustainability ethics.
  • As a member of AMMPA since 2004 our commitment to nature is strong. In fact, defending the environment is a key component of our corporate policies on sustainability ethics.
MYTHMore than half of Dolphins in Dolphinariums do not survive their first year due to illnesses or poor training.

    Reality

  • At Dolphin Discovery, we have Dolphins that are over 45 years old, still in excellent health, while in the wild their average life expectancy is around 25 to 35 years. The original Dolphins who started Dolphin Discovery are still in perfect health.
  • Having 113 Dolphins and over 150 Marine Mammals born in our care is proof that our survival rate is better than in wild populations (Our very successful survival rate is over 90%).
  • Dolphin Discovery is the first company in the world that has been able to open Dolphin Habitats where all the Dolphins have been born in our care. We have 5 Dolphin Habitats that are home to only Dolphins born at Dolphin Discovery, these facilities have obtained the “Miracle” certification.
MYTHDolphins in dolphinariums commit suicide by stopping breathing voluntarily.

    Reality

  • Animals never commit suicide. There is nothing stronger in nature than survival instincts.
  • Dolphins do not end their own lives, especially if their environmental conditions are good as in the Dolphin Habitats of Dolphin Discovery, which have ample open space, proper care and lots of social and mental stimulation.
MYTHSome facilities promote themselves as conservation enterprises; however, few such facilities are involved in substantial conservation efforts.

    Reality

  • Dolphin Discovery has both a Conservation and Educational department “in house”, that is dedicated exclusively to these important activities. We have 15 marine biologists that freely share information with our guests and the community about environmental stewardship.
  • Since 2006, Dolphin Discovery has been awarded the Socially Responsible Certification for promoting and participating in important environmental days and conservation projects, such as Coastal Clean Up Days.
  • We are certified by AMMPA (Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums) and IMATA (International Marine Animals Trainer´s Association), US based organizations that are dedicated to promoting educational and conservation programs and supporting the Marine Mammal community in the US, Mexico and around the world.
MYTHDolphins that come from the wilderness, gradually lose their natural behaviors as they are deprived from the natural conditions in which they developed.

    Reality

  • Dolphin Discovery has the largest Dolphin Habitats in the world, which gives us the ability to maintain Dolphins in pods. This allows the Dolphins to interact naturally, as can be witnessed by their social behavior and communication.
  • At Dolphin Discovery, the Dolphins interact with each other freely, constantly playing and vocalizing with one another.
MYTHDolphins at Dolphinariums are fed constantly by the audience, getting overweight and at risk of ingesting other objects.

    Reality

  • At Dolphin Discovery the diet and weight of our Dolphins are monitored daily by both, the resident veterinarian staff and the Marine Mammal Specialists, to ensure optimum health.
  • Additionally, the size of our Dolphin Habitats, with large open spaces, allows our Dolphins to jump, swim and interact freely, which keeps them in excellent health.
MYTHThere is risk of disease transmission, both from Mammals to humans and the other way around. Some trainers have reported numerous health conditions related to their job.

    Reality

  • The Veterinarian Committee of AMMPA (Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums) certifies that among the 8 million people that have participated in a Dolphin swim program, there is not one single case of contagious disease that can be related to this activity.
  • Additionally, there is absolutely no such research that proves that disease transmission between Dolphins and humans is even possible. There has never been a documented case of a disease transmitted between Dolphins and humans.
MYTHThe records in the United States show a history of alarming deaths, high rates of mortality and low rates of births.

    Reality

  • At Dolphin Discovery we are proud of having one of the world’s most successful reproduction programs, called “Miracle”. This name signifies the high value we place on preserving healthy Dolphin populations for generations to come and the ecological importance of each Dolphin born.
  • With 113 Dolphins born in our care, our mortality rate is a very low 2% and it is due to age or natural causes. The register of births and deaths are sent to authorities and are available for the public.
  • Because of the excellent success of our reproduction program, we now even have second generation Dolphins living in our facilities, meaning that they are offspring of Dolphins that were already born at Dolphin Discovery.
MYTHAll Dolphins should be released back into the wild.

    Reality

  • At Dolphin Discovery more than half of our Dolphins have been born in our care, so sending them away and turning our back on them would be quite cruel, since they would not know how to survive in the wild.
  • Previous attempts to release Dolphins from facilities have been made in other countries with no survival success.
  • We are in favor of prohibiting the capture and killing of Dolphins in countries such as Japan or the Solomon Islands.
  • We diligently work for a better quality of life for Dolphins everywhere – in the Oceans and in human care. We encourage all dolphinariums to join AMMPA (Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums), which requires high standards of care and healthy environments for the sustainable future of Marine Mammals.



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MYTHS AND REALITIES

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