Fans Urge Sharon Osbourne to Come out of the #Dolphin Pool via @examinercom | @MrsSOsbourne

By Sandy McElhaney

When Sharon Osbourne took a recent dip in the pool with a dolphin, the news unleashed a maelstrom response from animal lovers around the globe.

At issue is the growing awareness of the plight of dolphins in captivity.  The 2009 Academy Award winning documentary The Cove brought to light the annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins in Taiji, Japan.  According to the documentary’s star, Ric O’Barry, this slaughter is linked to the worldwide trafficking of dolphins for use in marine parks and “swim-with-dolphin” programs.  In Taiji and elsewhere, dolphins are culled from the water, trained and sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Various studies have shown that these animals experience a range of physical and mental health problems in confinement.  These ailments are often linked to premature death.  A 2010 report from the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) cited pneumonia, ulcers, trauma, mishandling by trainers, and chronic stress as the top causes of death among captive dolphins.

The news of the America’s Got Talent judge’s swim with a dolphin at a resort in Hawaii sparked an international facebook campaign…

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