As I get older and possibly more mellowed, fewer things upset me. But the torture of two dolphins exposed by Donal McIntyre in the Express almost made me explode with rage.

Man’s inhumanity to man is well documented and expected. But man’s inhumanity to the helpless such as children and animals when it happens beggars belief.


I always find it difficult to read stories like this because I do not want to acknowledge that people can be so cruel.

It seems that even travellers from a modern country like the UK are quite willing to get in a rancid pool with distressed animals just to ‘fulfil a childhood dream’. I view these people with distaste and put them in the same bracket as those overweight, wobbling tourists that get hoisted on to the back of some poor undernourished and ill treated donkey just so they don’t break into a sweat climbing to the top of a mountain.

As the piece says, Tom and Misha are two young dolphins that were extracted from the ocean four years ago and taken on a four and a half hour journey by fruit ‘n veg van to a small 11 metre by 22 metre pool surrounded by nightclubs. All for the ‘pleasure’ of tourists and profit for the owner.

The pool they now exist (not live) in is situated at the laughably called ‘Dolphin Park’ in Hisaronu, Turkey.

Just look at what he says about their arrival at the puddle they have to now call home. “Then with the assistance of drinkers from the Irish bar across the street they were dumped in the 11m by 22m pool. Traumatised, by the trip, the animals just bobbed up and down repetitively in a terrible expression of distress for their first five days in the pool.”

Misha it seems is no longer able to achieve stable buoyancy. They are also being fed frozen mackerel, something that can be very bad for Dolphins’ health.

Then the story gets darker. Charities such as Born Free are trying to get the animals released but those now ‘looking after’ the animals are demanding $360,000 for their release. And it seems the local authorities in Turkey either can’t or cannot be bothered to do anything meaningful.

If ever there was a case for direct action then it is this. Once the Dolphins get too ill and are no longer profitable I don’t think they will be given a well earned retirement, just shown the inside of a can of pet food more like.

Ameera MacIntyre, Donal’s wife, gave up her career as a dolphin trainer when she realised how even the better cared for animals were exploited.

If you are reading this and have partaken of this dubious ‘once in a lifetime event’ in Hisaronu then I have no time for you. And if the report is anything to go by then you might be well advised to get a medical check up.

Those of you planning to go to Turkey, please avoid this place.

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