Dolphin filmed repeatedly slamming its head into aquarium tank wall | Totally Vegan Buzz
Dolphin filmed repeatedly slamming its head into aquarium tank wall
Image: Nel_enol /

Animal rights activists have revealed harrowing footage of a dolphin repeatedly smashing its head into the wall of an aquarium tank in Singapore.

Campaigners from Empty the Tanks revealed the disturbing footage which the group claimed was filmed at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) S.E.A Aquarium.

A visitor witnessed the scene and sent the video to Empty The Tanks, who have used the footage to support calls to end the captivity of dolphins. 

The video shows a dolphin repeatedly swimming into a glass panel head-first for 30 seconds, and has been shared more than 2,000 times and viewed more than 240,000 times.

“Some very concerning footage has been brought to our attention by an Empty The Tanks Supporter of a dolphin repeatedly slamming their head into the wall at S.E.A. Aquarium in Singapore,” the post explains.

“This distressing behavior is one of the many reasons dolphins do not belong in captivity.”

Experts told The Straits Times the behaviour was likely from  ‘boredom, neurosis or depression’.

Marine animal scientist Dr Naomi Rose said: ‘This kind of repetitive, pointless, even self-damaging behaviour is the essence of stereotypy. It is a sign of boredom, neurosis, depression.

‘It’s hard to say exactly what is going on here, but it’s definitely a sign of poor emotional health.’


Rachel Carbary, founder of Empty The Tanks, said the video was taken by a supporter. “During his visit, he witnessed the disturbing dolphin behaviour seen in the video and chose to record it,” she said. 

“We have shared this video on social media in the hopes of bringing more attention to the plight of these sentient animals that continue to suffer in captivity.”

According to reports, a vet visited RWS’ dolphin enclosure and did not report any ‘abnormal behaviour’. 

RWS said in a statement that the video was displaying dolphins’ natural ‘curiosity’.

A spokesperson told Coconuts Singapore: “We are uncertain of the source of the video but we can share some natural behavioural traits of dolphins. 

“Dolphins have a natural curiosity about people and their surroundings. They are also very social and enjoy playing with other dolphins,’ the statement read.

“As part of their natural behaviour, they communicate with each other through echolocation, making high-pitched clicking sounds and other playful actions such as nudging objects using their rostrums to attract attention.”

What do you think of the dolphin’s behaviour? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Published by Oli Gross

Oli’s career and personal ethical values both help shape his reporting of the diverse world of veganism. His background is in local newspaper and magazine journalism, and his work has included reporting court cases, celebrity interviews, business analysis, food and drink features and government legislation.



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