Sunday, April 01, 2007

Dolphin Games II: The Dark Side.

Dolphins have a good rep. They're smart. Cute. They do tricks. They rescue drowning swimmers and scare off sharks. They're the role model animal. "Look how they cooperate and get along," people say. "So peaceful. So helpful. Maybe us so-called civilized humans could learn something from them."
A few years ago, we did learn something. The flap started when dead, mangled porpoises washed ashore in Scotland. What was going on? Sharks? Motor blades?
The mystery was solved when someone filmed a pod of dolphins roughing up porpoise. The poor little guy squeals in terror as the dolphins batter him like a volleyball. They bit him, rammed him and tossed him in the air.
What really disturbed me was that the dolphins were probably smart enough to know they were tormenting him. This wasn't a pack of dumb sharks chomping for food. This was a game, for fun, at another creature's expense.
So much for the noble, peaceful undersea role model.
If dolphin squeaks are ever translated into English, I bet the results would be threats, jeers, catcalls and profanity.

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