A pack of captured dolphins, sold to a water park and transported on a jet to thousands of miles.
|Old and new dangers. The inhabitants of the Solomon Islands traditionally hunt dolphins to eat their meat and pick their teeth to use as a dowry for wedding ceremonies.|
How much does it cost to buy a dolphin? About 260 euros. At least this was the price offered by a western society to the dolphin hunters of the Salomon Islands, the archipelago of 1000 islands in the north-east of Australia.
The approximately 200 captured dolphins were then sold on the market for more than 20 thousand euros.
25 unfortunate specimens were hijacked on an air freighter and transported to the water park in Cancun, Mexico.
At all costs. The transfer, however, seems to have violated international laws on trade in species established by CITES (the body that deals with trade in animals in danger of extinction). And above all it was not without risks: "This species is used to living in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean - stress some environmental organizations - and in Mexican ones there are 28 degrees centigrade. Change the food web and the habitat as a whole, and therefore the dolphins could suffer a strong physical trauma ". A second risk is that the Salomon dolphins endanger the health of the species that inhabit Mexican waters bringing infections.
The fact is that visitors to the Cancan water park will have to pay about $ 86 to swim with the mammals and about 40 to kiss or pet them.
(News updated July 31, 2003)