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Secret Psychological Revelations of Dolphins in Captivity

By Haylee Elizabeth Hilton

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As with most things, the early years of Sea Animal training consisted of trials and errors, experimentations and false starts.  Again, as with most things, those early efforts were analyzed and the successful efforts were kept and incorporated into the regular training routines.  Improvements in techniques were implemented and over time, training evolved into an art form, a scientifically based art form.

SeaWorld, with its many parks is one of the most successful marine animal parks.  It employs tested training techniques to not only enhance the entertainment enjoyment of the park quests, but also, and most importantly, to enhance the environment and mental stimulation of the animals.

Great care is taken by the trainers to ensure that the animals are provided for in as many ways as is humanly possible.  This statement is critically important because it recognizes those human shortcomings, but it is also a statement as to those human shortcomings being constantly worked over, reassessed and reviewed with an eye toward continually improving the life of the animals.  This statement is also cognizant of the host of detractors out there, who are quiet vocal in their distrust of the various animal programs.  On-going efforts by SeaWorld and other marine animal parks attempt to educate those detractors, as well as the general public as to the value of those programs for the animals.  Additionally, is the research that leads to a better understanding of the human/animal interactions and the human/human interactions.  Finally, there is the value of those programs for pure entertainment purposes.

Some would even say that the use of animals for entertainment has reached the highest levels of human/animal interactions. 


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Pages 42
Department Liberal Arts and Sciences
Degree Master of Arts
University San Diego State University
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Dolphins
  3. Human-animal interactions
  4. open access
  5. peer-reviewed
  6. Psychiatry and psychology
  7. Tourism and travel
  8. training
  9. Zoo and captive wild animals
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed