midiamimesDolphin death at Planète Sauvage

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Captive Dolphin (photo: One Voice)A thirteen-day-old male dolphin, named Little, has died at Planète Sauvage in France after an altercation between the calf’s young mother, Tarel, and another adult female named Lucile.
 
Tarel was placed in the nursery pool with Lucile who, it was hoped, would assist with the calf – whose birth has actually gone unreported until now.
 
Martin Böye, scientific manager at Planète Sauvage, has commented on the incident between the two females, which he states ‘sometimes happens in the natural environment.’ However in the wild, female dolphins are known to group together to protect a calf, in contrast to the aggressive behaviour displayed by these captive dolphins.
 
This is not the first time that aggression has led to the death of an infant dolphin in captivity. Only a month previously, a two-week-old dolphin calf named Aloa died at Parc Asterix in France.
 
In a captive environment, individuals are unable to escape the aggression which may arise in forced social groupings and close confinement. Social groupings are frequently disrupted in the captive industry when individual animals are swapped and traded between facilities. For instance, Lucile had only recently arrived at Planète Sauvage, after being transferred from Harderwijk in the Netherlands: a move which apparently separated her from her own calf.
 
ENDCAP-affiliated coalition Dolphinaria-Free Europe advocates an end to captive breeding and a move towards retirement and rehabilitation; in order to phase out the captive cetacean facilities of Europe.
 
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Author: ENDCAP