Dolphins are some of the cutest and most intelligent animals on the planet, and it can be so tempting to see one up close that people will do almost anything for the chance. Seeing nature footage on TV or the internet is one thing, but nothing measures up to the experience of swimming with real dolphins, and it's become a huge business for resorts and cruise companies.
But animal experts and trainers who have studied and worked with these companies firsthand reveal that the business isn't as innocent as it seems.
While the dolphins look happy with their fun tricks and smiling faces, the truth is more complicated.
The dolphins we see at attractions are either born in captivity - so they've never been in the ocean - or captured from the wild, which can be dangerous for their health. The dolphins are also separated from their families.
You might not think that's a big deal, but dolphins are almost as smart as humans, and very social. They pick and choose who they spend their time with based on relationships, but in captivity they're stuck in a tank with whoever their trainers pair them with.
Imagine being stuck in a room with someone you can't stand! It would be very stressful, and trainers say that stress can really hurt the dolphins.
Click the next page to hear what real dolphin trainers have to say!