Singer Jewel recently took a trip to the Caribbean, where she spent some time with local dolphins. On Tuesday, Jan. 7, she posted a series of photos of herself riding dolphins while wearing a pink wetsuit, standing on the animals with her arms lifted before smiling at the camera in the next snap.
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"Yes. Yes this is me riding a DOLPHIN CHARIOT .... in a hot pink onsie.... lol.... so fun!!" her caption read. "There was one dolphin for each foot- their nose pressed snugly into each arch. I started laying flat in the water, and they came up and pressed their noses into my feet and then start hauling! Swipe to see me first being lifted and then me launching myself ... so. Much. Fun. These animals are so smart are kind and playful... what an honor to spend the day with them and their trainers ...."
Some fans quickly took issue with the fact that she was swimming with dolphins, using the comments section to explain why the practice is a controversial one.
"I don't believe you have any ill intent, but riding these majestic creatures is inhumane, and a terrible example," one person wrote. "Dolphins belong in the wild, or in a sanctuary. At no point do they owe us a ride in either outcome. If we want to enjoy dolphins we should do so from afar, or at a sanctuary where they roam freely, and needn't preform for us in any manor. Dolphins, and any other creature are NOT entertainment."
"You need to look at the Dolphin Project and see how the Beautiful dolphins are stolen and slaughtered for profit," another fan commented. "Look into Taiji where hunting boats kill them in front of their families and leave a pool of blood or they bet them as they are screaming horrendously. This is disgusting that you and everyone else supports the kidnapping and slaughter of these animals and others. ANIMALS ARE NOT OUR PROPERTY OR OUR ENTERTAINMENT."
"This is terrible," an additional message read. "These incredibly intelligent animals should not be held captive for our entertainment. Just awful."
Jewel responded to one of the comments, explaining that she was at "a rehabilitation center for animals that have been brought in that were hurt and can no longer live in the wild. They raise funds for rehab and research."
"But I am going to look up the Dolphin Project now!" she added. "I hate hearing about this!"
The Dolphin Project also commented, writing that the center Jewel had visited was not "a true rehabilitation center." "Many dolphins round falsely advertise under names like that," they explained.
Jewel later shared another message to her fans in another post, writing, "Hey all- I have been schooled by you about dolphins and love hearing your feedback. I fully agree animals should not be taken from their families ... I do support facilities that take in harmed animals for rehab and education. as ever, thanks for the comments and support!"
Photo Credit: Getty / Gabe Ginsberg