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<p>I just finished watching the film "The Cove" (riveting and unforgettable) and it put me in a contemplative mood. I want to share this fascinating memory:</p>
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<p>Years and years and years ago when ds was maybe 3 months old, we took a drive along the east coast of Florida. He was a very sick baby after his first open heart surgery. We heard there was a place known for healing energy that we wanted to visit on the coast. This was not an interstate, but an older highway. We ended up driving right past a small outdated water park.</p>
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<p>It was probably 5 o clock on a Sunday. There was nobody at the park. It looked like a set from the 60's---nothing had been updated in years. I think bigger parts like Sea World had taken over the market.</p>
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<p>We walked up to the main entrance and nobody was there. A turnstyle was the only 'gate' into the park. We walked over and pushed and it let us inside.</p>
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<p>This was one of the most surreal experiences I have had in my entire life. The only thing in the entire section of the park was a tank of dolphins in the main park show tank. There wasn't anybody else. No security, no staff, no customers. We had no idea if they were open or closed. Dh and I wondered out loud if this was a twilight zone situation--it was that eerie.</p>
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<p>The water looked kind of murky, so we went down some stairs pointing to "Underwater Windows". I held ds up to a window, so he could see into the greenish light colored water. Right then a dolphin swam down and pressed his/her eye against the glass, staring at ds, and ds staring back. The dolphin stayed there for a long time, trying to look at baby ds from lots of different angles. I have been to many such parks and seen alligators and other animals--but that dolphin was so clearly curious, so keen to get a look at us, so very intelligent, unlike any other animal I've seen, except elephants.</p>
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<p>We eventually walked over to a different area, where a long waist high tank was sitting. Inside was a single HUGE dolphin. I could have put my hand in and touched him but thought better of that--he never moved, just rose to the surface and turned so he could see us with one eye and stayed close to us staring.</p>
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<p>I never realized how HUGE a dolphin is until that point--they are quite large, and their heads and eyes are massive. They are so intensely curious, and they really do look right at you.</p>
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<p>It was so sad seeing them there like that. Without all the people and noise you could see how glum and dreary their lives were. The entire ocean was their birthright, but they would probably die inside those tiny concrete tubs.</p>
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<p>I've decided never to visit another dolphin park. I wouldn't want to see a dog treated in that way, and it is just as bad to think of a sensitive animal like a dolphin living in those conditions :(</p>
 

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<p>Wow, how strange that the place was so vacant.  I hope they were not abandoned there.</p>
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<p>Captivity is a sad thing.</p>
 

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<p>i also have such a hard time with captivity. i have always had issues with it, since i was a small child. something about it just feels "off" <img alt="crap.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/crap.gif"></p>
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<p>i also have never been to sea world and i do not intend to ever go there!!</p>
 

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<p>My gosh, I think I would have called animal control or somebody to make sure those dolphins weren't abandoned there.  How sad.  They might have been staring at you guys so much because they were hungry and looking for you to feed them, or something. </p>
 
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<p>I was shocked to know what happens to dolphin in The Cove, I was very glad they made this documentary to show society the truth behind these parks. I refuse to support them and would never visit one either. I also value the truth of the man who created the whole dolphin industry he's admitted to his wrong doing and is now spending  his entire life now devoted to rescuing and saving these animals.</p>
<p>Heartmama,  Did you ever find out if someone is caring for the dolphins or feeding them in those tanks? they sound sad and deserve to be released into the wild.</p>
 
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