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Born Free USA Blog
Adam M Roberts

Born Free USA Blog

by Adam M Roberts,
Chief Executive Officer

When it comes to animals, Adam Roberts not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. Since beginning his animal advocacy career in Washington, D.C. in 1991, Adam's ambition, tireless involvement, and profound knowledge of conservation and wildlife issues have cemented him as a go-to voice for protecting animals — and he has elevated Born Free USA to the respected and impactful organization that we know today. Adam's compassionate, informed, and forward-thinking blogs will surely motivate you to join us in our fight to Keep Wildlife in the Wild.

When Living a Long Life Might Not Be So Grand

Published 10/11/11

If you were told that you would live to be 95 years old, you might very well be pleased.

If you also were told that your entire life would be spent in one small house, with no excursions anywhere for any reason, and if you have mates you’ll have no say in who they are or how long you will be together, and you’ll be ordered around and punished by members of an entirely different species, and tourists will pay to stare at you every day, you might very well be discouraged.

I read today that Terry, a bottlenose dolphin at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA, has died at age 51. According to writer Bill Lindelof in his Sacramento Bee story, “Her age was comparable to that of a 95-year-old person. Terry had lost the majority of her teeth and couldn't get out of the water much on her air spin.”

Pointing out that she had been at the park since it opened in 1985, Lindelof elaborated: “Despite being a senior animal, Terry was the most reliable of dolphins during interactions with guests. She was agile, friendly and, right up to her death, adept at her wave, kiss, spit and hug.”

Quite a sad legacy. A beautiful wild animal, confined to a lifetime of performing for humans’ profit and entertainment, was “adept at her wave, kiss, spit and hug.”

As you know, I am no fan of putting wild animals in captivity. But having captive animals forced to perform tricks is taking the insanity of captivity — and the specious claims that it’s “educational” or motivated by conservation — to another level. A deeper, worse level of human greed and exploitation.

I seriously wonder if Terry is happy she lived such a life for such a long time. Don’t you? At least we know for sure that she is now, at long last, free.

Blogging off,

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