My name is Harry and I am 11 years old. I am writing to you because I was concerned to see that you are promoting and supporting The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.
The reason this worries me is because The Mirage keeps dolphins captive and this is cruel and inhumane. I thought that you were an animal lover and would be upset by this as well. I am shocked and sad that you don’t care about these dolphins.
On The Mirage website they claim their dolphin habitats are for scientific research and education. There doesn’t seem to be anything educational about what they do with dolphins. They charge people money to do activities with dolphins.
A new “experience” they offer is Painting with Dolphins. How is this for research or education? Do dolphins do this in the wild, in their natural habitat? We all know this is wrong and The Mirage are exploiting these animals to make money. Forcing a paintbrush into the mouth of a dolphin is very upsetting. It is cruel to treat animals in this inhumane way.
The Mirage also offers paying customers the opportunity to be a “Trainer for a day”. To be a trainer you have to force the dolphins to do silly tricks. The dolphins don’t perform tricks in the wild – I’ve never seen a dolphin in the wild balance a ball on their nose – this is not educational. It is also a well known fact that dolphins are deprived of food to make them do these silly circus tricks. In the wild, dolphins are free to hunt for food whenever they feel like it.
Ellen, I would like to know if you think these activities are educational or done for the purpose of research. To me, it sounds like they are doing these things to make money and just telling the public that it’s for education and research.
There are lots of documentaries, for example ‘Spy in the Pod’, Blackfish, The Cove and also lots of books that educate us about dolphins. We don’t need to see them or keep them in captivity to learn about them.
On their website The Mirage states “Guests see the dolphins in a naturalistic environment, exhibiting natural behaviors”. How is a pool in the middle of a desert a naturalistic environment and how can a dolphin painting be called a natural behavior?
Being someone who says they are an animal lover, I would think you would see that keeping dolphins in captivity and forcing them to do tricks is wrong. You are a big celebrity and lots of people listen to what you say. By promoting The Mirage you are telling the world that you think it’s ok to keep dolphins captive.
After seeing you talk about the Cove I thought you were aware of the bigger issue. These dolphins in the Mirage may not come from the Taiji dolphin slaughter, but supporting dolphin habitats and shows contributes to the slaughter. If no one buys a ticket, there is no need to hunt and capture dolphins.
I would like to ask you Ellen to stop promoting and supporting The Mirage Hotel. There are lots of other great hotels that you can promote that don’t hurt and mistreat animals.
Thank you for reading my letter. We all love dolphins but we don’t need to see them to love. We can love them just as much when they are swimming wild and free.