There is something amazingly different in the experience of viewing wildlife in its natural environment, as opposed to the sight of the same animals in captivity.
It is not possible to re-create for the animals the complexity of their own natural habitat, and the safety from predation we offer comes at too huge a price – they become our wards, and their behavior becomes dulled and often neurotic. But back in the wild environment the same animals often exude a life force absent in their captive counterparts, and no where is this more true than it is of dolphins and whales.
In this video of a wild dolphin giving birth, notice how the mother dolphin and the baby continue on with life as usual, as the pod hitches a ride on the boat’s wake:
“Uploaded by shelbysc450 on Jun 16, 2009
This was off the SC coast about 50 miles out of Charleston harbor. We were sport fishing and saw this happening. What you can’t see is there were several other dolphin circling the mother. Pretty incredible if you think about all the sq. miles of ocean and we happened on this.”
Compare that to SeaWorld’s laboratory pool, where the isolated female gives birth in a sterile environment to a calf, engineered to be a female:
“Uploaded by seaworld on Apr 14, 2009
No matter how anyone feels about keeping dolphins and whales in captivity, most people would agree that SeaWorld could do better than this, and at least allow the calves a more enriched environment in which to enter the world.