Dolphins and Humans
When dolphins and humans fish in the same area, there can be conflict. Many thousands of dolphins drown in fishing nets each year. Bottle nosed dolphins have been known to support people fishing by driving fish towards the nets and then taking their share of any that escape.
Dolphins have been trained by the military to hunt for lost swimmers and to use their sonar to detect mines under the water.
Bottle-nosed dolphins are often used to entertain humans, as they are the species most commonly trained in dolphinaria. They are able to solve problems and even to turn them to their own advantage. One dolphin, named Kellie, was being trained to collect pieces of litter, found in the ocean. For each piece she returned to her trainer, she received a fish. It was soon noticed that Kellie would find a single piece of paper, then would tuck it under a rock and tear bits off it, returning these one at a time in order to be given more fish!
Questions have been raised as to whether keeping dolphins in captivity is cruel. Some trainers build up strong relationships with their dolphins, but keeping any animals such as dolphins in captivity is questionable, as no pool, no matter how large can ever be the same as the open ocean. Dolphins have larger brains than humans and are intelligent, highly social animals. They typically live in family groups called pods. Removing these animals from their groups and keeping them in captivity is now believed to cause depression and distress to the animals.
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