Book Review: Dolphin Diaries

I absolutely loved Dolphin Diaries: My 25 Years with Spotted Dolphins in the Bahamas by Dr. Denise L. Herzing. Dr. Herzing has spent every summer since 1985 swimming with and researching spotted dolphins in the Bahamas. Her work with the same groups of dolphins every year has allowed her to gain the dolphins’ trust and be allowed to see the intimate details of their lives.

Dr. Herzing writes with love and affection for the beautiful, intelligent animals. Before reading this book, I knew that dolphins were intelligent, but I had no idea just how smart they are.

Unfortunately, the dolphin communities Dr. Herzing works with were decimated by the hurricanes of 2008 (a devastating season that included Hurricane Katrina). She is still working and studying in the Bahamas, but some of her work has changed since 2008 in light of the terrible losses the dolphin communities sustained.

In the final chapter of the book, Dr. Herzing draws the reader’s attention to the many dangers faced by dolphins worldwide, almost all at the hands of humans. Did you know that almost all dolphins in captivity, especially those in shows, were captured in the wild — ripped away from their families for the pleasure of humans? Dr. Herzing’s words are biting on the topic of captive dolphins, particularly those for shows and human therapy.

If you read only one chapter in the Dolphin Diaries, read the last one.

Four out of five stars.

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