Phoenix New Times:

Almost half of all adults across Arizona oppose captive Swim-With-The-Dolphin (SWTD) entertainment centers like Dolphinaris, the facility that opened last month near Scottsdale, a new poll from Lake Research Partners finds.

According to the poll, 49 percent of Arizonans say they oppose such facilities, and 31 percent say they strongly oppose them. By contrast, 32 percent of adults support SWTD facilities, and 19 percent are undecided.

The findings held across gender lines, as 55 percent of women and 42 percent of men say they oppose these facilities, while 27 percent of women and 27 percent of men say they support them. And according to the poll, age was also not a significant factor – approximately half of respondents, whether over or under age 55, reported opposition.

“A majority of Arizonans do not support it, and the number of people who strongly oppose it are higher than the number who support,” says Stephanie Nichols-Young, president of the Animal Defense League of Arizona, one of the groups that commissioned the poll. She’s not surprised by the findings, she adds, because as far as she can tell, the public is really turning against holding marine animals captive for entertainment purposes.

“Dolphins are incredibly sophisticated animals. They should be out in the wild, not held in a pool that’s too small for them,” she says.

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