WDCS To Work With Merlin Entertainments On Better Future For Captive Dolphins

WDCS has begun work with the global visitor attractions company, Merlin Entertainments, to undertake a feasibility study aimed at finding a permanent solution for the retirement and rehabilitation, to a natural setting, of a number of captive dolphins that were part of shows in attractions acquired by Merlin Entertainments in the last few years.

WDCS has been campaigning to end captures, trade and the captivity of dolphins for many years. Dolphins are highly intelligent animals whose wild habitat can cover vast distances. Confined in captivity, they are known to suffer, with a shorter life expectancy than in the wild and with poor breeding success.

Cathy Williamson, Anti-Captivity Campaign Manager for WDCS said: "We very much welcome the opportunity to work with Merlin and carry out this feasibility study, and we praise the company for recognising the problems faced by dolphins in captivity, it’s the first time such efforts have been made by a visitor attractions company to positively address these problems. We look forward to working with Merlin to achieve a permanent alternative and much more positive solution to the confinement in captivity of the dolphins that have come into Merlin's care through these acquisitions."

The help from WDCS to secure the best possible future for the dolphins has also been warmly welcomed within Merlin.

"We are very pleased that the WDCS has agreed to work with us in undertaking this study.  We are confident that WDCS is the ideal ally to help us identify the solution which best provides for the welfare of the dolphins," said Sea Life's senior marine biologist Rob Hicks.

"We – both Merlin and WDCS – are determined to move this forward, examining every option thoroughly, to properly exercise the duty of care that we have to these remarkable and intelligent animals," he added.