A YOUNG Spanish animal-rights activist has handed over to Congress a petition with 150,000 signatures calling for an end to the high number of dolphins kept in captivity across the country. 

Olivia Mandle, who is aged just 16, is campaigning alongside a group of scientists called World Animal Protection in a bid to bring about an end to Spain’s dolphinariums. 

According to figures cited by Spanish daily El Pais, the country has 10 such installations in zoos and similar parks, accounting for a third of all those in Europe as well as a third of all of the dolphins kept in captivity on the continent. The country ranks sixth on the global scale. 

‘Today I am in Madrid together with World Animal Protection to hand over to Congress 150,000 signatures calling for Spain to no longer be the biggest dolphin prison in the world,’ she said via Twitter about her initiative. 

‘We are calling for the progressive closure of dolphinariums in Spain,’ she told El Pais, calling for the installations to be converted into ‘marine sanctuaries’.

The most urgent measure that must be taken, she continued, was ‘an end to shows and forced breeding’. 

‘We want to stop the suffering of these highly intelligent creatures, who should be enjoying their natural habitat,’ added Sandra Campinas, the head of campaigns at World Animal Protection in Spain.

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