First Seaside Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary to Give Formerly Captive Animals a New Life
The answer to Blackfish is finally here. The Whale Sanctuary Project is an independent organization set on creating a seaside sanctuary for whales, dolphins, and porpoises – especially those recovering from life in captivity. Most importantly, the plan is to create a life that most reflects their natural habitat and behaviors because that is what the animals need, not because that it is profitable for humans to observe.
With an initial donation of $200,000 from Munchkin, Inc., a baby product company who has already begun advocating for orcas, the project team can begin its search for the perfect site to rehome these animals. Dr. Lori Marino, executive director for The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy and one of the new sanctuary’s leaders, stated:
“There are sanctuaries for other large, highly social, and wide-ranging mammals, including elephants and great apes, but there are none anywhere in the world yet for dolphins and whales. Cetacean sanctuary initiatives are long overdue, and we now have the best possible team of experts to ensure an optimal quality of life and care for individual cetaceans.”
The animals who will find new homes at the sanctuary will be primarily orcas, dolphins, and belugas who are either “retired” from entertaiment industries or who have been found ill or injured. Some of the animals may be rehabilitated to return to life in the wild, yet those who lived their lives in confinement would not likely survive. It is for these animals that the sanctuary is most important.
Steve Dunn, CEO of Munchkin, says the company has pledged a total of $1 million toward the project being completed. He stated:
“We are dedicated not only to these majestic mammals, but also to helping parents and children understand what they can do to help orcas and others live the rest of their lives happily and safely.”
The way to do this is to nurture an understanding of the fact that animals do not exist for our entertainment. The Whale Project Sanctuary will provide a space for the animals we have wronged to live a full, happy, and natural life. It seems we finally got it right.
Photo credit: Wikimedia