Dolphinaria-Free Europe statement on captive dolphin ‘happiness’ study results

The scientific paper “Looking forward to interacting with their caretakers: dolphins’ anticipatory behaviour indicates motivation to participate in specific events”  was recently published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science. The media coverage of this paper was intense and generated such headlines as: “We finally figured out whether or not [captive] dolphins are happy,” “Scientists attempt to measure dolphin ‘happiness’ for the first time,” “Dolphin ‘happiness’ is measured for the first time,” and “Happiness is human for dolphins.” Dolphinaria-Free Europe considers this interpretation of the study’s results to be misguided and a misrepresentation of the findings of the study and has produced our Statement in response.

DFE Statement on Study of Captive Dolphin Welfare