On opening night of One Direction’s U.S. tour, singer Harry Styles sent a message to his fans loud and clear: Stay away from SeaWorld!
Inside the packed Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Harry took a break between songs to ask fans, “Does anybody like dolphins?” When the crowd erupted in cheering, he added, “Don’t go to SeaWorld!”
Here are four reasons why you should listen to Harry and stay away from SeaWorld:
- Dolphins in the wild swim vast distances every day with their extended families, playing and exploring new territory together. However, at SeaWorld they’re confined to cramped, barren concrete tanks. This is especially traumatic for them because they’re highly social animals who communicate through vocalizations and navigate by echolocation. In pools such as those at SeaWorld, the reverberations from these sounds bounce off the walls around them.
2. Captive dolphins are sometimes housed in incompatible groups, and because of the cramped conditions, they’re unable to escape conflicts.
3. Many dolphins develop painful ailments, such as stomach ulcers, and some die prematurely from the stressful conditions of captivity. Sixty-two bottlenose dolphins have DIED at SeaWorld parks in just ten years. Sixteen of those dolphins were stillborn babies.
4. Cheap tricks can hurt dolphins. In 2008, Sharky, a captive dolphin at SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida, was fatally injured while performing an aerial trick. He collided in mid-air with another dolphin and subsequently died. And in 2012 at SeaWorld’s San Antonio facility, two dolphins crashed in mid-air, and one was ejected onto the concrete walkway below. The dolphin lay bleeding and helpless as guests looked on.
Unlike Harry and the rest of 1D, dolphins and other marine animals don’t choose to perform—they are forced to do it! Pledge never to go to any SeaWorld park, and urge your friends and family to stay away, too.