Dolphin with trainer at Sea World Gold Coast (Australia) | Photo: Phalinn Ooi, license: CC BY 2.0

Why „FOOLED BY A SMILE“ by World Animal Protection is not trustworthy

Exclusively published on – 19th of September in 2020. Autor: Philipp J. Kroiss

The animal rights organization World Animal Protection (WAP) published something like a wannabe documentary about dolphinariums that has got nothing to do with truth or reality.

Why „FOOLED BY A SMILE“ by World Animal Protection is not trustworthy

An animal rights organization called World Animal Protection (WAP) is known for spreading lies, misinformation, and disinformation about zoos and aquariums. The organization has an agenda – and guess what? It’s not animal protection – just like PETA is also not really about the ethical treatment of animals. WAP is just another label fraud organization that tries to mislead the public not only with their name but also with pure lies.

Instead of using donation money for animal protection, they preferred to produce an anti-dolphinarium movie full of lies that is so magnificently easy to refute by facts that it was a waste of money – only gullible people who never had an interest in truth, facts, and science would fall for it.

Questionable protagonist

Bottlenose dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center | Photo: Reinhard Link, license: CC BY-SA 2.0

The “star” of the short movie, that acts like being a documentary, which it clearly isn’t, is a woman called Lorena López. We asked a lot of the top trainers in the world: people, who are renowned trainers, participated in meetings, presented papers to other trainers, and are among the best of their kind. They don’t know her. So, we can’t even confirm that she ever worked in a dolphinarium – it could be but she could also be an actress or a wannabe trainer.

The history of former dolphin trainers that try to expose their former employers is short and free from honor. They were mostly convicted for or violating the job rules by animal cruelty and have never been good trainers. Also, Lorena López shows her lack of knowledge perfectly in this video and demasks herself as a woman, who doesn’t even know the basics of dolphin husbandry.

She claims, that these animals would generally be “deprived of their food” and that’s nothing but a lie – and it’s known for decades. At the beginning of this project, we interviewed one of the first German dolphin trainers and he explained that it was already known in the 1960s that food deprivation does not work in training dolphins. We can’t exclude that it happened or happens somewhere, but if you worked in a facility like this, you’re not a good trainer because every good trainer knows that this is wrong and he or she would leave the facility to work in a professional facility. Food deprivation is never used in modern, accredited, and/or certified facilities.

So, we invite you to listen to real experts. On your YouTube channel, you see top trainers and experts explaining how they really train dolphins. Here is one of our most recent videos also talking about this topic:

How can someone, who claims to have worked in this industry for ten years not know one of the basics of dolphin training? That’s unbelievable. So, either she was in a sub-standard facility, or she simply lies or the viewers are fooled by World Animal Protection. In order to give you an impression of what this sentence could be compared to imagine a math teacher saying to you that one plus one would be minus thirteen. That’s a comparable quality.

It’s not designed to make you think, it’s designed to make you feel

In contrast to true documentaries is not designed to make you check facts or think about what you saw, it’s made to force you to feel bad and believe. It is comparable to indoctrinating movies in some sectarian environments because easily refutable lies shall look like the real truth. In fact, this movie only ignores the facts. One claim of the movie is: “This is not love. This is not conservation. This is not education.” This is wrong and we can give you a great example: Look at Oceanogràfic de València. It’s an accredited and certified aquarium and one of the biggest worldwide. It’s a center of education, research, and conservation and they prove that to every single visitor.

So, we want to invite you to watch these videos and those, who will be published soon on our YouTube channel:

After watching these videos and listening to these experts, you easily realized: In fact, it’s all about research, education, and conservation same as love and respect. So, this is a great example and you see the same spirit in all accredited and certified zoos, aquariums, and dolphinariums worldwide. This is what true modern zoological facilities are all about and they work for it day by day.

How dare World Animal Protection?

Let’s put it in a positive term: World Animal Protection is pretty courageous attacking zoos and aquariums. Why? Well, they never saved a single species and now they are attacking the world of zoos and aquariums, which saved numerous species from extinction and are working every day to save more. Not a single species survived because of World Animal Protection because they prefer to spread lies about true conservationists to actual conservation work.

The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) has also been saved from extinction through the work of zoos. | Photo: Kimberly Fraser / USFWS Mountain-Prairie, license: CC BY 2.0

Who is working to conserve dolphin populations threatened by pollution, habitat fragmentation, and other horrible dangers? Facilities like Oceanogràfic, like Loro Parque or many other dolphinariums in Spain, Europe, and all over the world. Loro Parque alone saved 10 species from extinction. Nuremberg Zoo with its famous dolphinarium is also doing amazing work for marine mammals in South America. This conservation and animal protection work costs a lot of money but these facilities don’t waste it like World Animal Protection and the zoos are successful.

That’s why opponents of zoos, aquariums, and dolphinariums don’t want people to buy a ticket. If you visit these facilities, you would see the conservation work, you would be able to experience the educational work, and it would be possible for you to feel respect and love between dolphins and their trainers. Visiting an accredited and/or certified modern zoological facility will not only promote, but it will also support conservation – and also true animal protection.

Who is saving dolphins and other whales or other marine mammals in need? Zoos, aquariums, and dolphinariums. They have the facilities, the knowledge, and they know what to do because of decades of experience that would never have been gained if there wouldn’t have been these facilities. So, if they wouldn’t already exist, they would have to be urgently invented. If World Animal Protection and this film full of lies wouldn’t exist, it wouldn’t make a difference for dolphins.

True animal protection is so important and, of course, there are some bad zoos same as there are bad hospitals, schools, or retirement homes. But there is an easy way to see which zoos and aquariums are good places for animals: look for accreditations of trustworthy zoo associations or certificates. The renowned animal welfare organization American Humane developed a certificate called Humane Conservation that bases on science to audit zoos and aquariums. It’s also a wonderful way to find out which zoo, aquarium, or dolphinarium you can visit to be sure that the zoological facility participates in conservation, education, and research as well as having top animal husbandry.

Share this post