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From a splash of water to a smash of glass, three pictures force people to think twice before buying tickets to marine parks.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society launched a series of images today illustrating the tragic fates met by real-life captive cetaceans.

The images come just as the holiday season begins and families are making choices about how to spend their money on entertainment. The pictures are being published to educate and deter travelers around the world from buying tickets to marine shows, swim-with-dolphin programs and other similar animal encounter experiences.

The photos, featuring a dolphin, beluga and orca, respectively, show each animal breaking the water with their backs. Drops splash around them as they land from an aerial trick. Upon closer look, the viewer will see the drops of water are, in fact, broken glass. Each visual is accompanied by text that tells the true story of the mammal in the poster.

“That was the idea behind this campaign - to look closer and see what happens to animals in marine parks, ” said Nicolas Dumenil, the Paris-based art director who created the designs for Sea Shepherd. “Going from a splash of water to a smash of glass was a simple but powerful way to illustrate the cruel reality of captivity. Marine parks work hard to hide what people should not see and work harder to engage in disinformation each time an animal dies in their parks.”

Said Sea Shepherd Founder, President and CEO Captain Paul Watson: “Every year Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians document the atrocious dolphin drives in Taiji, Japan, where cetaceans are being slaughtered, torn apart from their families and transported to concentration camps masquerading as marine parks. Nicolas’ images are a wakeup call for those who think these animals actually like spinning in the air and giving rides to trainers on their backs.”

Having witnessed firsthand the atrocities in Taiji, I can attest to just how horrific life is as a captive prisoner in these parks, ” added Sea Shepherd COO David Hance. “A captive life is no life for any animal. I hope everyone can make the humane and moral choice not to support marine parks this holiday season, or any season for that matter.”

Dumenil said he wanted to use stories of actual captive marine mammals for the campaign to remember and honor all of those who met similar tragic fates. The hardest part was choosing which ones to spotlight, especially as new deaths occurred, including the November 2016 passing of Aurora and Quila, a mother and daughter beluga pair who died nine days apart at the Vancouver Aquarium.

“Who will be next?” asked Dumenil. “Bucky, the 47-year old captive dolphin in Australia who is still jumping through hoops despite his history of cancer?”



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