By Jaimi Dolmage
On the heels of an uproar that centered around the UK’s “Xtra Factor” shooting a segment at a dolphin show, Simon Cowell has made a pledge to further his aid for captive dolphins and whales.
The segment, which aired in a teaser trailer at the end of the previous week’s show, featured contestants mentored by Mel B. swimming with dolphins and performing tricks with them at the Delphinus Riviera Maya. Fans reacted immediately, tweeting Cowell about the cruelties forced upon dolphins in captivity.
Subjected to small enclosures and little stimulation outside of the practices of training or performing, dolphins in captivity often display signs of “zoochosis” and frequently suffer disease and injury from their exposure to the public.
Called upon to take the segment down on Twitter and by an online petition, Cowell yanked it immediately, tweeting his fans and fans of the show that animal cruelty was not something he would tolerate.
It appears as though he’s not stopping there, however. Cowell has announced on Twitter that he’s got a plan in the works to use his considerable star power and visibility to take the issue of dolphins in captivity to the next level.
Cowell, a repeated vocal supporter of various PETA campaigns, went on to say that the project was something he’d been working on for a while. In a previous interview with the WSPA, Cowell explained his stance on animals, “When I was growing up we had pets and I got to, at an early age, to understand that you’ve got to respect animals.” He went on to explain, “People saying that animals don’t feel pain, don’t suffer, trust me that’s complete and utter rubbish.”
We’ve gotta say, our curiosity is piqued! We can’t wait to see what kind of good someone as vocal as Simon Cowell can do and appreciate him lending his voice to captive dolphins. Photos.