Brittany Mahomes has found herself in hot water after she posted pictures to her Instagram swimming with dolphins while on vacation in Hawaii. Brittany, the wife of two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, posed closely with the dolphin and even included a photo of her and two-year-old daughter, Sterling, with the marine mammal. Her followers were quick to give criticism, even getting the attention of PETA, an animal rights organization. "We know you love companion animals," said the activist group in her comment section. "Many dolphins develop painful conditions, such as stomach ulcers, and some die prematurely from the stressful conditions of extreme captivity. Not to mention, many illnesses can be passed from dolphins to human visitors, including viral, fungal, and bacterial infections such as salmonella. These types of interactions are dangerous for them AND us." Mahomes captioned the photos, "Ever snuggled a 400lbs dolphin?," but the images have since been deleted.
The controversy has reopened the discussion on if swimming with dolphins is morally the right or wrong thing to do. Many argue that the animals are not living a fulfilled life as they are not in their natural habitat and are presumably forced to work for endless hours a day. While many of the facilities that run these dolphin swimming attractions argue that these animals were rescued as infants and are unable to be released into the wild again. They also claim to be taking care of the animals with top-tier treatment. Many of Mahomes followers were against the activity, one commenter saying, “I would never pay to support this type of tourism… Please educate yourself on this."