Zoo fall blamed on splashy dolphins

by Walter Olson on August 20, 2009

The Chicago Zoological Society and Brookfield Zoo, according to Allecyn Edwards’ suit, “recklessly and willfully trained and encouraged the dolphins to throw water at the spectators in the stands making the floor wet and slippery,” among other derelictions. [Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, Riverside/Brookfield Landmark] More: Lowering the Bar (“based on my extensive Discovery Channel research, most dolphins live in water, either a pool of it or, in some extreme cases, an entire ocean. It appears to be not uncommon for surfaces near these bodies of water to become wet and slippery.”)

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{ 7 comments }

1 Bob Lipton 08.20.09 at 8:51 am

Water at a place where there are dolphins? Clearly immoral.

Bob

2 Doug 08.20.09 at 12:10 pm

What, how long has those dolphins been throwing water into the stands and soaking the floor? I am sure this was not an open and obvious danger.

3 W. Rogers Turner, Jr. 08.20.09 at 12:13 pm

IS THERE STILL LIABILITY IF THEY DIDN’T DO IT ON PORPOISE?

4 kimsch 08.20.09 at 6:56 pm

OMG. I have been there plenty of times. People CHOOSE to sit in the front seats to get splashed. The zoo has put the handicapped seating in the front because of the stadium seating, but to the sides, where they won’t get splashed.

This is absolutely ridiculous. It is absolutely an open and obvious danger. IIRC, there are “wet floor” cones as well.

5 Allen Nyhuis 08.20.09 at 11:00 pm

Wow, I sure hope the Zoo beats this legal charge! This is the kind of case that we need “tort reform” for. After the Zoo wins this case, the woman should have to pay both sides’ legal expenses. Going to the dolphin show and having them splash the crowd is one of the funnest parts of the show! The Brookfield Zoo’s dolphin show is one of the best.

Allen Nyhuis, Coauthor: America’s Best Zoos

6 Dave Lincoln 08.21.09 at 2:04 am

People, don’t piss off the dolphins, even if you think you are God because you are a lawyer. Dolphins are not fish, people; they are mammals. They have their own society where they conduct finance, manufacture goods, and generate services (all of it under the sea, I might add, which is still beyond us humans). However, the dolphins will not put up with the sharks (their word for lawyers), and they will gang up and kill fairly big sharks using only their noses. That shows you right there which of us mammalians have a true “society”. We have a lot to learn from these might fish, I mean mammals, or whatever!

BTW, zoo-book guy, what is the difference, if any, between a dolphin and a porpose? Really, no joking here.

7 Kevin 08.24.09 at 5:20 pm

I will take up the challenge in place of Zoo-Book Guy.

Dolphins and porpoises are closely related, and the words are sometimes used interchangeably, but these are two different “families” within the suborder of toothed whales — orcas being another one, for example. Porpoises have smaller heads and shorter beaks, and so far as I know, have not starred in any television shows.

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