Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Sanctuaries Not Tanks

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Sanctuaries not tanks

Seeking an end to captive dolphin, porpoise and whale exploitation

Have you ever visited a dolphinarium, or swum with a captive dolphin? It has long been one of the most popular holiday activities, but perhaps you were unaware that just the keeping of whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) in captivity, is severely detrimental to their welfare? Science is conclusive, behind their proverbial smile, cetaceans are suffering.

Born Free has launched the campaign, #SanctuariesNotTanks, with an aim to bring the facts to the attention of the public and to appeal to people who were perhaps keen to visit a dolphinaria, or swim with a dolphin; not to buy a ticket. Housing cetaceans in featureless, concrete tanks does not provide these intelligent animals with the space or stimulation they would enjoy in the wild, causing reduced physical fitness, heightened anxiety, boredom and even early death.

#SanctuariesNotTanks will:

  • Reveal the scientific evidence that confirms tanks are not suitable for cetaceans;
  • Appeal to worldwide Governments to phase-out the keeping of cetaceans in captivity;
  • Appeal to the international travel industry to cease promoting exploitative dolphin interactions;
  • Investigate the status and performance of captive dolphin facilities against their legal requirements;
  • Expose the dangers of direct interaction with dolphins, and other marine mammals;
  • Expose the lies behind Dolphin Assisted Therapy (using dolphins in therapy for adults and children); 
  • Seek viable, humane alternatives for captive cetaceans that safeguard their welfare and protection.

The Born Free Foundation first exposed the plight of captive dolphins over 30 years ago. Since then, the international wildlife NGO has helped close the last UK dolphinaria and ensured the release of their remaining dolphins; investigated EU dolphinaria; rescued and rehabilitated two bottlenose dolphins (Tom and Misha) from a collapsing pool in Turkey; and helped establish the Dolphinaria-Free Europe coalition.

You can help: 

Dolphin-awareness month -  Dolphin captivity – Is the end in sight?

Stop Dolphinaria

As part of our campaign calling for an end to the exploitation of captive whales and dolphins, the animated film, #StopDolphinaria, seeks to reveal the plight of whales, dolphins and porpoises (referred to as cetaceans) in captivity.

Produced by the Spanish NGO, FAADA, in collaboration with the Born Free Foundation, the film includes narration by Virginia McKenna OBE, and focuses on the real lives of three individual animals; all currently kept in Spanish animal attractions. The film challenges the unjustified claims of species conservation, education and animal welfare, commonly made by the captive dolphin attractions and instead, reveals the stark reality that whales and dolphins suffer in captivity, day after day.

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Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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