This message reached us after our report on the whale and dolphin protectors. Many thanks to family Schürbusch
First of all I would like to say that I absolutely respect and support reasonable Wildlife Conservation. Every person who puts himself out for another living being deserves acclaim.
I am a mother of a disabled child. My son has retarded development problems and suffers from fits. In the past we were more in hospitals than at home. After more than 30 fits my endurance was at an end. Again and again I saw my child unmoving with his muscles cramped, his face turning blue, for three years I couldn’t leave him for 1 second out of my sight. Then his development slowed and he was not able to do things that other children of his age had long since accomplished. Also to experience that pained my heart. I couldn’t lead a normal life.
At 3 yrs. He couldn’t speak a single word, was not alert to danger and was always falling over. My life was composed only of fear, worry about the future and visits to Therapy.
The visit to Antalya definitely produced the first visible progress. He began to speak, learned to climb stairs on his own and became more open and self-confident. (perhaps this sounds unspecial, but for us it was a very important success). I began the therapy without any expectations and was witness to a therapy that worked, unfortunately not scientifically proven. But every kind of progress, however small, was very precious to us. I can neither explain nor prove that Dolphin Therapy initiated everything, but I took a completely different child home with me. And I am certain that the immediate progress was definitely due to Dolphin Therapy. I have met a lot of parents with disabled children and there is a reason why all who experienced this speak of it only in a positive way. In the following year it became apparent that our child probably would not have to attend a special school for the disabled and instead could attend a school for children with learning difficulties. This opens a future for him, for which I would do everything.
So, now to the WDSF. At first there were uncountable discussions on different facebook pages in which I participated. Perhaps no one can empathise with this, but if a dolphin enabled my child to lead a more normal life, then I am thankful for this possibility. The Issue has only led to such heated discussions because the people behind WDSF will not accept my opinion, and that of other mothers/persons, – will not even listen. Instead our Reports were deleted and were designated ‚Fake-Profiles’. I do not care if they declare the reactions of the people in Germany and Turkey to be publicity for the Dolphin Center. I have even tried to attain a personal conversation with the Initiators, I have spoken to the secretary three times and I was told they would call back. Beforehand I had received an e-mail demanding an apology for my statements. No-one called back! Foremost are the efforts that the Organization have made against Dolphin Shows. I am talking here exclusively about Antalya. I was there for 2 weeks, I saw how the animals are kept, cared-for and handled. Of course they do not live in their natural surroundings.
And where shall we begin with animal conservation. No more visits to the zoo, Vegans (e.g. no eggs to eat (Battery chickens in Germany certainly have a more terrible life as to dolphins, who at least live in their own element) would stop taking medication, no more cosmetics, no clothes etc. etc. But this is not the point. I chose Antalya because the animals there don’t live in a pool. Again, I know that the animals do not live in their natural surroundings but are kept in an enclosure suitable for their species. But in this case do the rights of animals superscede those of humankind??? I do not let my child ride on a pony at the fun-fair, they walk all day in a circle, but I want to offer my disabled child all I can so that in the future he will be able to lead a reasonably integrated life. And no medication that has been tested on animals helped him, it was a dolphin. Am I being unfair to the dolphin??
As long as I have the feeling that the dolphins are not being mistreated or held in unsuitable circumstances, and are helping children that are ill, then I will accept this ‚service’ for my child, as would EVERYONE for their own child.
I know that with this letter I will have started another discussion and that certain people will join in with the same arguments. Exactly these people, instead of generalising, should consider talking to affected parents BEFORE they make judgements. Everyone should be happy to have a healthy child, and not be judged as a supporter of the mistreatment of animals by so-called Conservationists just because one is fighting for one’s child.
I hope that this letter will provoke reactions from people who understand my point of view, and not unfair, profile-neurotic comments from so-called Conservationists of whom I have had quite enough.
WDSF should continue to fight against the mistreatment of dolphins and other animals, but should not place the needs of children in the same category as the money-makers of dolphin shows.