Sadly there are still many places around the world that keep dolphins in captivity. Dolphins have a frozen smile on their face; they are not able to change their expression. This frozen smile gives many people the false perception that they are happy.
Often dolphins are captured in the wild, taken from their families and their home and placed in a pool where they are forced to entertain people for food. Occasionally dolphin are rescued if they are injured or stranded and taken to these marine parks but often they are not released back in to the wild once they have recovered.
In the wild dolphins swim several Kilometres a day and can reach speeds of up to 35km per hour, they are inquisitive animals and will often play with seaweed, jellyfish and other items they find in the wild. They will often ride in the bow waves of boats and ships or in the natural waves that the water creates. They are very intelligent and form strong bonds with their families and other dolphins in their pod.
In captivity they are usually in areas enclosed by cement. These tanks are usually bare and there is not much to keep them interested and entertained. Many dolphins in captivity have cuts and scratches on their rostrums due to rubbing them on the cement and sides of the pools due to boredom. They often stop using their echolocation because of it constantly bouncing off the cement. They are forced to do jumps, tail walking, push people through the water and many other activities in order to receive fish.
Thankfully it is now illegal to keep marine mammals in captivity in South Australia.
Unfortunately around the world live capture still takes place in many countries. Dolphins are taken away from their families, their homes and their natural environment. Live capture is incredibly stressful and inhumane. It is cruel and unnecessary to keep dolphins in captivity.