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Bottlenose dolphins © Christopher Swann

On the anniversary of the massacre of 1,423 dolphins, what’s changed?

One year ago today, 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins, including mothers with calves and pregnant females,...
Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) Gulf of California. The tail of a sperm whale.

To protect whales, we must stop ignoring the high seas

Almost two-thirds of the ocean, or 95% of the habitable space on Earth, are sloshing...
A dolphin plays in front of the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay

Sharing our Spey Bay stories – tell us yours

2022 is Scotland's Year of Stories, a year in which stories inspired by, created or...
Orcas in Australia

Did orcas help rescue entangled humpback whale?

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
An orca named 'Hulk' off Caithness, Scotland

My amazing week watching orcas in Scotland

Orca Watch's 10th anniversary event in the far north of Scotland was exhilarating with a...

Faroes dolphin hunt review – disappointing is an understatement

I wasn't alone in hoping that substantial changes would be made as a result of...
Minke whale - V Mignon

We told them this would happen! Time to halt cruel whale experiments

An ill-conceived and so far ill-fated joint US/ Norwegian experiment to test minke whales' reaction...
Sponging dolphin in Shark Bay

Dolphins who catch fish with shells

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...

Could judge’s decision on elephants pave the way for captive dolphins?

In a landmark case a US judge has ruled in favour of captive elephants and against the Los Angeles Zoo.

Judge John L. Segal in his judgment against the Los Angeles Zoo noted that despite representation to the contrary from zoo staff, ‘the elephants are not healthy, happy, and thriving’.

Elephants are large brained, social, long lived mammals, who invest a great deal of time and effort in raising their offspring; attributes that can also be used to describe dolphins and orcas. Science has also shown that elephants are self-aware, one aspect of consciousness that was previously believed to be the preserve of humans and a select group of primates. Now the science demonstrates that bottlenose dolphins are also self-aware.

Judge Segal noted that ‘Captivity is a terrible existence for any intelligent, self-aware species… to believe otherwise, as some high-ranking zoo employees appear to believe, is delusional’.

The judge stopped short of ordering that the elephants should be release to a sanctuary. Nevertheless, the captivity tide is turning and this case bodes well for other large brained, social, sentient species, such as whales and dolphins.

Read a report of this landmark case here.