Monday 22 October 2018

Happiness is human for dolphins - study

When the dolphins saw a trainer they were familiar with they would spend more time at the edge of the pool and peer above the surface
When the dolphins saw a trainer they were familiar with they would spend more time at the edge of the pool and peer above the surface

Shehab Khan

A team of scientists have attempted to measure "happiness" in dolphins for the first time.

Researchers in France assessed captivity from the perspective of the marine mammal and found they were most happy when interacting with a human they had built a bond with.

The study, published in the journal 'Applied Animal Behaviour Science', is part of a three-year project to measure dolphins' welfare.

Lead researcher Dr Isabella Clegg designed a number of experiments that looked at the posture of dolphins to determine what they were feeling.

She tested dolphins when they were in sessions with a trainer, had toys in their pool and when they were alone.

"We found all dolphins look forward most to interacting with a familiar human," she said.

When the dolphins saw a trainer they were familiar with they would spend more time at the edge of the pool and peer above the surface.

"We've seen this same thing in other zoo animals and in farm animals," Dr Clegg added. "Better human-animal bonds equals better welfare."

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