Dolphin researchers are interested in reviewing footage taken of a dolphin leaping out of its holding cell during a July 4 marine show at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, in southwestern Japan.
But not for the reason you'd think.
"People think we want to review it because the dolphin leapt from the tank," said Richard Queso of the "Equality Action Team: Dolphins" research facility. "The 30' dolphin is kept in a chlorinated pool the size of a Sea Monkeys aquarium. Of course he tried to leave! What we are interested in is the behavior exhibited by the other dolphins."
Indeed, moments after the dolphin jumped out of the tank, all of the other dolphins swam over and watched the goings-on for about a minute.
Queso, the founder of "EAT: Dolphins", believes that the rubber-necking dolphins exhibit human-level intelligence, and human-level boorishness.
"It is disappointing," continued Queso. "When those dolphins swam over to check on their tankmate, I thought they were there to check on his status, or to stand in solidarity with him."
"Instead, they just pointed and stared," continued EAT: Dolphins spokesperson Dave Rader. "One dolphin took out his Blackberry and began filming the rescue. The show came to a complete stop because these dolphins were rubber-necking."
Hideshi Teruya, who manages the dolphin section of Churaumi, said the dolphin suffered minor scratches and bruises on its head and fin but was fine, and had a healthy appetite for mackerel and squid almost as soon as it was returned to a tank.
"It was playing around and jumped out by accident from the momentum,*" he told The Associated Press.
Teruya acknowledged that dolphins --each of which weigh about as much as a bus-- sometimes spring out and so he has placed padding as thick as a yoga mat around the tanks to prevent serious injury.
Because that should help.
"Dolphins are used to roaming for many miles a day, not swimming in a circle and doing flips at shows," says Rader, who used to teach dolphins to swim in a circle and do flips at shows. "I am disappointed to see that dolphins exhibit the same bad behavior as humans, by rubbernecking when a fellow dolphin may be injured."
"If they become any more human, they'll start enslaving other animals for their own amusement."
PS: I've seen this footage. Trying to say this dolphin was playing around and jumped out by accident is like saying that the terrorists were just trying to improve air travel to the World Trade Center. That f--king dolphin was trying either trying to make a run for it, or he wanted to die. There was no playing going on.