In what way does the housing of marine mammals in captivity, under the care and supervision of humans, benefit wild species?
Every year marine life facilities take a proactive approach to conservation by investing extensive staff time and financial resources in important marine mammal research. Knowledge acquired through research with animals in public display facilities, in tandem with field research, is one of the fundamental pieces to the worldwide conservation of marine mammals. Many facilities collaborate with marine mammal researchers from colleges, universities, and other scientific institutions that conduct studies important to the conservation and health of wild species. Over the years these studies have led to the development of new vaccines and methods of treating illness, techniques for anesthesia and surgery, tests for environmental toxicants and their effects on wild marine mammals, and advancements in diet, vitamin supplementation, and neonatal feeding, to name a few.
Do marine mammals have a shortened life span in
At this time there is insufficient statistically relevant data to provide a truthful answer to this question. Although some researchers have attempted to address lifespan and longevity, so little lifespan data exists on wild populations that significant statistical extrapolations of the known data must occur in order to approximate a conclusion. Additional data from both free-ranging animals and those in captivity is needed to determine if these groups have similar life expectancies. Through scientific population assessments and long term studies on wild marine mammals, Ocean Embassy will help provide answers to this and many other unanswered questions in the future.
Why do some “environmental” organizations appear to
be so opposed to the public display industry?
Unfortunately some organizations are focused primarily on generating public controversy through sensationalism as a fundraising tool. This is possible because of the enormous popularity of bottlenose dolphins and killer whales. A focus on these “icon” species draws more fundraising opportunities while at the same time, lesser-known, truly endangered species are virtually ignored by the same “animal protection” groups.
There is no doubt that certain methods of obtaining animals should be abolished and that certain facilities should not be permitted to care for animals. What is equally wrong, however, is to group the entire zoological community into one unit and present this information as though every institution operates in an unethical manner. This is a huge disservice to all the research, education, and overall positive impact that quality institutions have made over the years. Ocean Embassy is an animal advocacy organization which supports the work of like-minded legitimate animal advocacy organizations.
Why are interactive programs important?
It has been shown that in order to affect people and teach them to care about something you must touch them on an emotional level. Dolphins bring joy to many people who would never see a cetacean were it not for oceanaria. In fact, many visitors to dolphin interactive programs have a profound personal experience which enhances their desire to conserve and protect our oceans. This level of education cannot be fully imparted in classrooms, books or brochures. It simply must be experienced to have a holistic impact. If the world’s oceans were clean and undisturbed, and animals faced only natural threats, Ocean Embassy maintains that marine mammal interactive programs would still play a vital role in creating a world of more well-rounded, thoughtful and compassionate people. When an individual becomes a participant in this experience, most often it is described as unforgettable and is often cited as having a deeply emotional impact. Throughout the program guests are taught to be patient, observant and kind. Often these animals inspire laughter and even tears. Opportunities like this are instrumental in refocusing people on nature and a positive state of mind.
How is Ocean Embassy unique?
Ocean Embassy was conceived and founded from the ground up by Christ-centered and animal-oriented people. We just might be the only organization in our field whose board of directors began their careers caring for many species of animals in quality zoological facilities.
Ocean Embassy is our collective dream: to reach beyond the known horizon of zoological management, research and education; to positively and actively contribute to our world using the God given talents and expertise with which we were blessed.
“To whom much is given, much is expected.” Luke 12:48
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