Joseph Turner, Global Animal
SINGAPORE (OP-ED/TAKE ACTION) We called on Global Animals around the world to help save the 25 captured Sentosa dolphins. Surprisingly, Resorts World answered our call, too. Apparently they got the wrong number and sent Global Animal a tourist brochure teaming with appalling fiction about the benefits of keeping dolphins captive. Those profiting at Resorts World may want to ask themselves what’s inviting about a resort that’s akin to a labor camp and prison for wildlife.
The Resorts World Sentosa representative who contacted Global Animal made no remorseful mention that two of the captured dolphins the company bought to be attractions are already dead.
Suggestions that the resort company return the remaining 25 dolphins back to the ocean are met by silence. Evidently, the brochure is supposed to do the talking.
Here are some quotes (bolded) from Resorts World’s pro-exploitation, anti-fact brochure, followed by our corrections:
Resorts World claims that its “programs will give guests the opportunity to experience firsthand these majestic animals and learn about their natural behaviors and biological aspects.”
News flash — dolphins exhibit “their natural behavior and biological aspects” when living in their natural habitat, also known as the ocean.
“Dolphins naturally love to interact with humans,” as quoted by Resorts World.
Correction: Dolphins aren’t perpetually smiling. That’s the way nature designed their faces. Starving, imprisoned dolphins will do almost anything for food. Dolphins do not naturally love the interaction of begging for food and performing tricks in a tank. Dolphins perform the surreal stunts seen in shows due to psychological trauma and receiving unnatural coaching, disguised as care, then are paid off with food.
“The team at Marine Life Park strongly believes that well-run marine facilities make a tangible difference to animal conservation.”
Correction: The team at Marine Life Park are participating in decimating the natural dolphin population. According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and other legitimate institutions, 53 percent of captured dolphins die within three months of confinement. Is that the ‘conservation’ Marine Life Park, and its leadership, strongly believes in?
“Reports and testimonials have shown that zoos and marine parks have inspired personalities to illustrious careers in the care of animals.”
Huh? What reports and testimonials? What must a personality (their odd word) need to obtain an ‘illustrious career in the care of animals’? Ric O’Barry worked for 10 years in the dolphin entertainment industry training Flipper. His experience, and the abuse he witnessed and participated in, prompted him to spend the next 38 years fighting against dolphin captivity. Now, that’s an illustrious career.
“Today the achievement of these breeding programs provides valuable insight and knowledge into the propagation of dolphins and other marine mammal species.”
Correction: Watching dolphins in captivity doesn’t teach us about how the species lives in the wild. Marine biologists (who aren’t paid by theme park companies) consistently report that captured dolphins have a mortality rate that is staggeringly higher than wild dolphins, who typically live 45 years. In contrast, when a baby dolphin is born in a sea park, the announcement is delayed because the mortality rate is so high. What was Resorts World’s ‘valuable insight and knowledge’ when two of their dolphins died while being held in the Philippines during the building of their resort? Right.
“Our long term goal is to put in place a structured and sustained program to advance marine mammal science, conservation and education.”
So, a $4.93 billion megaplex resort, amusement park, and casino is being built to study wildlife? Even the most naïve can clearly see the reason Resorts World buys dolphins is to make their captors money, pure and simple.
Theme parks make the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan financially rewarding. Dolphins are violently captured during the Taiji dolphin slaughter, where select young dolphins are sold off to theme and marine parks. Then the roughly 20,000 other dolphins that year are harpooned to death until the entire cove runs red with blood. Resorts World is about ‘marine mammal science, conservation and education’ as much as the Taiji dolphin slaughter is about fishing.
“The Marine Life Park has been designed and is being built to exceed international standards for animal care and welfare.”
Reality: An area of ‘marine study’ will occupy the basement of an entertainment metropolis, where the dolphins are to be trotted out for entertainment on a grueling schedule. Dolphins, who swim 40-100 miles a day in the ocean where they belong, will be forced to swim in circles. Captive dolphins develop diseases, blindness and mental illness from the boredom (displayed by repetitively banging their heads on the tank’s side), and live much shorter lives. How about meeting the most basic standards of ethics and honesty?
“We may have different views on getting there, but we share the same goal on conserving bottlenose dolphins.”
No, we don’t, because conserving dolphins is patently not the goal of Resorts World. It’s cluelessness, or perhaps, cunning, but it’s not a ‘different view.’ The deceits in Resorts World’s brochure suggests they’ll treat dolphins any way they can get away with while hiding behind PR spin, pseudo-science and make-believe.
Meanwhile, there is a world of people taking a stand beside caring Singaporians who want the Sentosa 25 to be freed before more of these dolphins die. It’s time for Resorts World to immediately free the dolphins they’re holding. Action speaks louder than words. And given the company’s marketing materials, it’s the only thing to believe in.
Read More On How To Save These Dolphins: Dolphins Dying While Resort Is Built
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