The American SeaWorld theme park stops driving and stands on top of dolphins by dolphin trainers during shows.
This will include a proposal submitted in December by animal rights organization PETA, one of SeaWorld’s shareholders. PETA specifically asked SeaWorld not to ride on dolphins’ backs and stop standing on the faces of the mammals.
The decision to stop such stunts was announced in a letter sent earlier this month by a SeaWorld attorney, reports the Los Angeles Times.
SeaWorld states that it immediately stops driving dolphins on the back and that it will stop standing on dolphins’ noses in phases in the coming months. Nevertheless, the theme park states that it is still convinced that the acts are ‘in no way harmful to the animals’.
Instead, PETA claims that the stunts are harmful to the dolphins’ lower jaws, ‘which are very sensitive and crucial to their hearing’. An earlier report by PETA also found that dolphins in three SeaWorld parks had open wounds and had scars on their bodies.
SeaWorld previously stopped controversial killer whale shows
PETA owns 163 shares of SeaWorld since December. The organization did this to gain more say in SeaWorld’s policy with the ultimate aim of abolishing dolphin driving.
It’s not the first time the park has bowed to criticism from animal activists. SeaWorld stopped with orca shows in 2015.