Irresponsible handling of dolphins dangerous to humans and animals
Material posted: Gornova Anna M.Publication date: 11-10-2017
6 Oct associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology of the veterinary Academy. Scriabin, member of the Council on marine mammals research Institute of Oceanology Shirshov Tatyana Denisenko in conversation with the correspondent of inform-24, on the eve of consideration by the state Duma of the bill on responsible treatment of animals, told about the existing in Russia problems related to the violation of the rights and health of marine mammals.

Tatiana Denisenko: - In connection with what is now considered the amendments to the law on the protection of animals, I would like to say a few words about such a wonderful and beloved by children and adults animals, like cetaceans, etc. marine mammals inhabiting the territory of our huge country, which is bordered by several seas and oceans and has a huge water resources.
So, we are wrong to use these resources. We have a decrease in numbers of many species of marine mammals, particularly the black sea bottlenose Dolphin in the Black sea, sea lions or sea lion in the far East, belugas and other species of animals. However, as we have seen, these species are not only natural inhabitants, but there are in dolphinariums and oceanariums in our great country. And it is not only large dolphinariums continental, coastal type, but mobile institutions in which there is a mass death of animals, frequent change of these animals, servants, a variety of bad behavior of the management of these dolphinariums.

And, as a consequence, affects not only the animals that are dying, sick, but the people who come to shows, to see these animals.

If you refer to the world practice, it can be noted that many countries have long abandoned commercial use of marine mammals. For example, in the UK was introduced so rigid laws on keeping animals that no aquarium could not run and was forced to close. In countries such as India, marine mammals were recognized as intelligent animals. And this too is a reason. Russian scientists prove that, for example, orcas have it, is a lullaby that they sing to their children. Perhaps in the future we also accept them as reasonable. But it is just a dream.

What can we do now? If we consider our country to be progressive in relation to our natural resources, we must strictly prohibit commercial use of dolphins, whales, pinnipeds in dolphinariums and aquariums of our country. Why is this needed? First, the educational value of the presentation at the Dolphinarium have no. Children come there, as consumers of the show, but won't know anything new about the natural world, about the richness of our country.

To change this, better to take the child watching tour (learning journey). I say it in English, because we have, unfortunately, such measures have not yet carried out. And there's a kid in the habitat of animals can see them, get to know. Then it will be a miracle, and not the consumer attitude.

What to do with those animals who are in terrible conditions, especially in mobile dolphinariums? Of course, you must enforce strict rules that need to develop veterinary specialists, biologists are concerned marine mammals - rules hygienic measures the content of these animals.

Now these rules no. In addition, there is a need for specialists of veterinary science. Why? When the Prosecutor calls to check the state veterinary service to check the mobile or stationary dolphinariums, it turns out that to give an adequate assessment of the health status of these animals regular veterinary specialist, not working with marine mammals, cannot. Because the animal may look happy, healthy, his eyes are clean. He would happily play and eat fish, but will be seriously ill and possibly on the verge of death.

To see the changed condition of the animal can only be a specialist working with marine mammals. Therefore, it is necessary to make changes to veterinary legislation, to develop courses for students of veterinary science to introduce the necessary measures for assessing the health of these animals.

What else can you do? If we are really talking about diseases, I, as a veterinarian, I would like to draw attention to the fact that dolphins are kept in captivity, receive a large number of pathogens that are harmful to health, from people, from the environment in which they are located.

These pathogens multiply in the body of a Dolphin, cause not only illness, but can be dangerous for people that come to the Dolphinarium. We often hear, for example, Dolphin therapy, we often see that people come to the Dolphinarium and swim with dolphins. When you consider that this dolphinariums, as a rule, violated the requirements for water treatment and this water contains a lot of microorganisms, such as E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella (a bacterium that causes dysentery), etc., it is easy to draw a parallel that people swim with dolphins, can fall ill with one or another infectious disease.

And even when we are photographed with the animal, touching his skin, first, we infect it with their own microorganisms, caused diseases, and secondly, we are putting at risk their own health. And when mom brings the child to the Dolphinarium, it's a big risk.

What about mobile dolphinariums, when people sit around a huge iron bath, water, spray flying in the face of, fly in children, who usually sit in the front row, and we never think about the fact that the child, cases of purulent tonsillitis, could bring her from the Dolphin.

Only our large studies, in particular, our Department has shown that the flora that inhabits the animal in the dolphinariums, can be pathogenic for humans.

Fortunately, this does not happen in nature. Natural dolphins, etc. cetaceans do not have pathogenic microorganisms. If you go to some ekotur, watching the dolphins, even if such an animal came and talked to you, there is no danger for your health can not be. This is another point on which you need to pay attention. Unfortunately, we forget about it.

What to do with those dolphinariums, which are now? It is unlikely that commercial organizations want to adhere to the rules and regulations of the content, which I hope will soon be developed. The best way to close many of the existing organizations. First of all, it concerns mobile Dolphinarium, where very often dying animals.

The fact is that dolphins and marine mammals. do not tolerate a stressful situation. Any movement, change of conditions, the transport of animals leads to stress. Stress reduces the overall level of immunity. And against this there is a lot of disease and death of animals.

What should I do? The first required rule is the creation of rehabilitation centres and open sea water in sea water. Where animals are accustomed to coming to people and to communicate with them if both humans and animals.

With regard to rehabilitation centers, they are, first and foremost, should be aimed at the introduction of animals, ie the fact that we took an animal, cured, showed that it's clean, will not bring in the nature of any microflora from humans. Then we release him free and watch him in the wild.

This is the perfect scenario in our country, namely: working with marine mammals that we, and scientists, etc. people would like to see.

On duty I often communicate with students, and with students and parents. After these conversations many refuse to go to the Dolphinarium, to pay for the suffering of slaves, the torment of animals. And more - buy tickets to trade. Get acquainted with our country, to the wonderful animals that live in our seas and oceans. For training, for educational process it's much better than to watch trained animals that are forced to jump and run commands for a piece of dead fish. In nature these animals must eat live fish.

On training. Training animals in the circus and the training of cetaceans – they differ in terms of violence?

Tatiana Denisenko: - Yes, they are. Still, the training of cetaceans softer. In fact, the coach is not an evil man. As a rule, 90% of coaches in dolphinariums love their animals. And Dolphin by force had nothing to do. If to punish him (I mean like in the circus), he refuses to eat and may die. Therefore, strict measures of training, trainers do not come.

However, at the initial stage of adaptation of animals "raskarmlivayut" with a dead fish. Animals are in a starving condition, and they are forced to eat what they are given. Subsequently, they get fish only during training and during performances. Ie just like them to eat is not given, only the command. And they are forced to communicate with people and to run these commands.

There is another "gotcha": why the Dolphin communicates with a person, why do we think that it performs all these tasks with joy. The fact that dolphins, whales are very social animals. They are real extroverts, i.e., they need continuous communication. They swim great distances, they have to see the changing world around us. They need a lot of experience. Their brains are designed so that they have to get a lot of information, including from communicating with each other.

When they fall into the limited space they have to fill their hunger for information communicating with people. For this, elect is, of course, the closest person to coach and treat him like the child that mom picks up from kindergarten. How happy a child? That Dolphin is happy with her coach. Not because he wants to, but because he is forced to do.

This year we were in South Korea on the rehabilitation of dolphins, when they were released. The animals were withdrawn from the Syrian to the zoo, placed in the sea, in the cage. Two months, they rehabilitated them and then released into the water.

Up to this point, I had a certain skepticism, as a veterinarian and scientist that can Dolphin to completely abandon man after a long life in dolphinariums? Now, my skepticism has passed, as soon as these animals who have lived 20 years at the Dolphinarium, which gives 5, for 6 performances a day, communicating only with the coach as soon as they got into the wild, their man was not needed. Ie, they don't even swam out to people. They fished, they played. Only one Dolphin – it was a little bit sick – so it turned out that he had an infection. He asked for help from people. As soon as his problem is over, it is easily left loose.

Koreans are not the first time doing it. They released animals in the past. In particular, the two females, which was released in 2015. free, already have delfinato. Ie they didn't just go free. They took the pack in which they were once young, who once took. They just took the pack. They're "married", gave birth to children and live happily. For people not suitable! People do not need them.

After a stay in the zoo is the Dolphinarium (we heard from other experts) they don't live 50 years, and ten times less. It is likely that being taken in injured condition, your life will live to the end?

Tatiana Denisenko: - Yes, there is such a chance. Like any living organism, like a man, like any animal restores its functions, particularly the immune system when ingested in good conditions. As if to take a person from poor conditions, put in a good rehab, right to feed him, to give him all that is necessary for its full life, it will restore their health. Especially if the person in young age. And a Dolphin. After the captivity when he was held a competent program of rehabilitation, when his health does not cause concern among physicians, and we produce, he will live a full long life with his relatives.

The health of marine mammals shows how polluted the waters of the sea

Tatiana Denisenko: - Acute issue of the survey of the health of marine mammals, because their health shows how polluted the waters of a sea. Especially the health of animals such as cetaceans. They are like the top of the food chain and all that is in this sea is, everything they accumulate. Knowing about the health status of marine mammals, we can talk about security, for example, the same Black sea, people who come there to relax. After all, this year, it is no secret, was a large stranding of dolphins on the shore. The dolphins also went to a freshwater river. These dolphins were affected by the different eczema, they died in large numbers. I, despite the fact that I am a veterinarian and a scientist, in any research reports, nor in any veterinary reports of these data have not seen. Ie it was ignored by our services. It is possible that someone is investigated, but no publications on this topic there. And why was killing dolphins, what were the diseases we now do not know. Perhaps it was dangerous to humans. We do not doubt whether it is possible or impossible, it is necessary to conduct large-scale researches in the seas and oceans that wash the territory of our country. Research must be comprehensive. It is not only the definition of animal numbers, behavior, distribution, not only the study of water toxicity, but also necessary for the determination of the health status of marine mammals with the goal of determining the level of pollution of the sea and security for various economic activities – fisheries, use of water resources, as well as for tourists.

How all this can be investigated? If we can arrange for rehabilitation centers for marine mammals. Those rehabilitation centers which will not only rescue centre of animals, but of large scientific-educational bases, which can be useful for various us studies, educational activities for the population; to scientists and other people, so we can show this problem to everyone. Progressive in all the world study marine mammals in biology are on one of the first places. In particular, this medical study of marine mammals.

In many countries understand how important it is. Understand the government, the scientists themselves that these activities are conducted. It allocates funds and assistance to scientists. Science they have developed – is and publications in good journals, speeches at conferences. Our scientists are forced to work, usually on their enthusiasm, at his own expense. All performances, brilliant performances of our scientists at conferences associated, primarily, with their organizations in which they work, and with their own interests in research.

Smuggling and illegal fishing of marine mammals

Tatiana Denisenko: - Another big problem in our country – contraband capture of marine mammals and misuse them for commercial purposes. Illegal fishing is not only those animals that are not included in the Red book are not considered endangered, such as whales, but also with animals, who for 10 years are like endangered species. This species such as black sea bottlenose Dolphin. Its catch is still going on and commercial use of these animals is made.

As can be seen? When trapping the ignorant person it is unclear what distinguishes one animal from another. Very often seen in dolphinariums, especially in mobile dolphinariums substitution of animals. For example, often give young, newly caught animals for the old who lived there once, or who died.. there is a substitution of passports, substitution of documents and issue novootvoreni animals for those who were already there.

What is the result? This leads to the depletion of our resources. And secondly, it's a real crime.

How to get out of it? It is necessary to create genetic passports of animals. There is also a modern new methods: create a "voice passport" of dolphins. Of course, this photo-ID the animals for some labels, location of spots, etc.

Unfortunately, the use of such legally or illegally captured animals is solely for commercial purposes. Dolphins exploited, they perform in dolphinariums, die there, and even if they do not die, eke out his life in the role of a slave. For scientific research of such animals is not used. In General, the scientific community is not really allowed in such a very closed institution, because scientists don't all will be silent. Many of them will tell the truth. This truth is very afraid to hear.

What is the truth? The first one is that animals in dolphinariums are much smaller than in nature. Second, animals can be a source of pathogenic (i.e. harmful) microorganisms. Third, that these animals were illegally captured, and thus it influenced the development of populations of rare and endangered species of animals. The involvement of the scientific community is a necessary step to remedy the situation. Besides the scientific community should call for the development of standards for wild animals in captivity.

While we can not completely abandon the use of marine mammals. These standards need to develop to perform them was extremely difficult. Why? For the normal existence of any Dolphin, whale or orca required a huge area. After a day, a day the same whale swims hundreds of kilometers. We are unable to provide such an exercise in the "closed Bank". In addition, animals continuously scan, i.e., they emit sounds in order to probe the space. We see the world through the eyes in the first place. These animals see the world like an ultrasound machine. Ie they are ultrasonic, infrasonic signals overtures to the world and continuously receive the signal. If the sea wide space, Dolphin sees far, in the Dolphinarium it is as if in the bucket. Imagine if you tie the head with an iron bucket and let go of the sound, for example, to put a speaker with sound. The same thing happens with animals dolphinariums. Because of this, they gradually change their behavior. If you say the language of the layman, they go crazy. Behavior change may affect the aggressiveness of the animals, they can become aggressive towards people or Vice versa, become apathetic. Becoming apathetic, they die due to the fact that you stop to eat.

Of course, the development of rules and regulations marine mammals is needed. Such rules are already in the international practice. They can be taken as a basis. I think that after that many commercial organizations simply cannot exist because they would not be able to fulfill these rules. Again, this is of course, the introduction to the veterinary legislation rules the content of these animals, as well as rules for assessing the health of marine mammals both in captivity and in nature.


Tags: water , dolphins , Marine mammals