Join our zoo community

Are there any good Cetacean exhibits?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Beastking04, 1 May 2017.

  1. Beastking04

    Beastking04 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2014
    Posts:
    126
    Location:
    United States
    I've been looking up pictures on this site of Dolphin and Whale exhibits and, while some have good quality, a lot look small to house these animals. Are there any large, natural Cetacean exhibits?

    P.S.

    I'm not on the side of ill-informed organizations Like IDA, or PETA. I think we can house animals like Elephants, Big Cats, and Apes in captivity. But Cetaceans seem like an animal we can't really keep in captivity. Whether due to ethical, scientific or logical.
     
    Arizona Docent likes this.
  2. Loxodonta Cobra

    Loxodonta Cobra Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1 Aug 2015
    Posts:
    854
    Location:
    West Hartford, CT, USA
    Nurnberg Zoo in Germany and Dolfinarium Harderwijk in the Netherlands both keep bottlenose dolphins in large, deep, outdoor lagoons. Nurnberg Zoo even mixes them with Californian sea lions.
     
  3. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    8,361
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I have never seen a good cetacean exhibit and would tend to agree with you that it may not be possible.
     
  4. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2015
    Posts:
    2,513
    Location:
    United States
    To answer the initial question, the best cetacean exhibit I've seen and remember is the dolphin/beluga exhibit at Shedd Aquarium, which is both very large (although split between 3 enclosures) and deep. I confess not to know enough about cetacean husbandry to really say whether it qualifies as "good".

    While I think debate about the ethics and success of keeping cetaceans in captivity is healthy and necessary, I wish that the debate involved more scientific reasoning and evidence, as most arguments against keeping cetaceans are based on sensationalist appeals and generic and/or misleading statements about a lower quality of life. In reality, the actual effects of captivity on cetacean QOL are far from settled, with both sides capable of making valid evidence-based arguments. There are also significant differences between species that make it hard for me to accept blanket terms like "cetacean", which is sort of like saying "primates" or "crocodiles".

    I personally think that we should be doing more research, both in terms of husbandry and the effects of captivity on the overall health and well-being of cetaceans, before we collectively decide to give up on keeping them.
     
  5. Devi

    Devi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    433
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I used to like the idea of a large lagoon for dolphins, plants and rocks and stuff, but it has been pointed out to me that dolphins are open water animals and they rarely encounter the sea bed, never mind rock formations and weed so natural looking enclosures are for us as viewers, not for the dolphins benefit.
    Really we should utilise the space as best as we can with a big open pool with as few obstacles as we can. Toys that float on the surface or sink to the bottom are well received as enrichment.
     
  6. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    2,645
    Location:
    Everywhere at once
    Dolphinarium Hardewijk has large outdoor lake with weedy bottom. And space for about 20 dolphins and a restaurant with underwater viewing.

    Bottlenose dolphins, the ones representing about 95% of cetaceans in zoos, actually live in shallow waters and often enter narrow channels. There is even a well-filmed wild group which catches fish by swimming halfway out on the mud banks.
     
    Coelacanth18 likes this.