Hong Kong theme park ends shocking dolphin and sea lion shows thanks to pressure from activists | Totally Vegan Buzz

Hong Kong theme park ends shocking dolphin and sea lion shows thanks to pressure from activists

Hong Kong park ends shocking dolphin and sea lion
Image: Lee Yiu Tung / shutterstock

A theme park in Hong Kong has put an end to its dolphin and sea lion shows thanks to mounting pressure from animal rights groups. 

Activists are celebrating the move from Ocean Park, but are still campaigning for further progress as the company will still allow visitors to hug dolphins.

The theme park revealed that the shows will be ended but dolphins will still be kept in captivity and showcased in front of underwater viewing platforms. 

According to local news, the park’s chairman Leo Kung said: “Under the new plan, the Ocean Wonder show will cease.”

Hong Kong theme park ends shocking dolphin and sea lion shows
Image: Serova_Ekaterina / shuetterstock.com

Scrutiny

Captivity of wild dolphins and whales has been under increasing scrutiny around the world. Many travel agents have stopped selling tickets to SeaWorld in the US, and Canada has banned whale and dolphin captivity. 

The move in Hong Kong is a sign of progress, but Ocean Park will still allow visitors to pose for selfies with dolphins, drawing criticism from animal rights activists. 

Jason Baker, vice president of Peta, said in a statement: “Ocean Park’s decision to end its dolphin shows but to keep the animals as a tourist gimmick is a missed ethical and financial opportunity.”

Hong Kong animal welfare group Animal Rights Education mirrored the reaction of PETA.

Hong Kong theme park ends shocking dolphin and sea lion shows
Image: Henner Damke / shutterstock.com

‘Suffer’

Born Free also supports the calls for an end to dolphin captivity. “Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) suffer physically and mentally from life in captivity,” the group explains

“The physical, sensory and social environment in which these animals have evolved to live contrasts dramatically with the restricted and barren tanks found in dolphinaria, where cetaceans are held for viewing or performance to entertain visitors.”

Ocean Parks has been struggling financially in recent years as interest in its dolphin shows has drastically declined.

What should be done to put an end to dolphin captivity around the world? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Published by Oli Gross

Oli Gross is a writer and editor at Totally Vegan Buzz. His background is in local newspaper and magazine journalism, and his work has included reporting court cases, celebrity interviews, business analysis, food and drink features and government legislation. Oli’s career and personal ethical values both help shape his reporting of the diverse world of veganism. At Totally Vegan Buzz he specialises in breaking news and features on animal rights activism. Follow him on Twitter @Oli_Gross12

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