Storm in a seapen
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1995:
Three of five ex-Navy dolphins scheduled for return to the
sea in a deal arranged by the Humane Society of the U.S. arrived
November 30 at the Sugarloaf Dolphin Sanctuary near Key West,
Florida, after an all-day flight from San Diego. Two more dolphins
were to be flown to Sugarloaf after recovering from minor ailments.
But jubilation was short-lived. Within two weeks,
Sugarloaf owner Lloyd Good III fired director of husbandry Rick
Trout and dolphin trainer Lynne Stringer, reportedly due to conflicts
with director of rehabilitation and release Ric O’Barry of the
Dolphin Project. Trout and Stringer responded by asking the USDA
to investigate the sanctuary.
Objected Stringer, “Volunteer staff and onlookers were
hovering over the dolphins, petting and rubbing them, and encour-
aging the very behaviors that they had come to the sanctuary to
extinguish.” Various accounts indicated at least eight different peo-
ple were working with the dolphins.
Other objections issued by Trout and Stringer paralleled
those issued against Sugarloaf earlier by members of the
International Marine Animal Trainers Association. Both Trout and
O’Barry previously rejected the IMATA members’ claims as repre-
senting fear that the releases would succeed and increase pressure to
release other captive cetaceans.
Trout was fired in 1989 by a firm that trained marine mam-
mals for the U.S. Navy, also after going public with claims of
improper handling. In that case, his charges were backed by two
other handlers who earlier quit the Navy program.