What Resorts World, Sentosa is doing to bottlenose dolphins is enough to upset any animal lover.
Dolphins, you see, are highly social creatures that are accustomed to being in family pods.
They are sensitive mammals capable of great emotion and feeling and intelligence. In the wild, they roam thousands of kilometers of ocean together. They are used to exploring three-dimensional underwater worlds full of sounds, sights, movement, colour, varying landscapes and changing currents.
To abduct these animals from the wild, to rip them from their homes, to snatch them away from their mates and relatives and put them in a box is especially cruel.
To use them for entertainment, for generating money from the tourist trade, now that’s downright exploitative.
But that’s exactly what Resorts World wants to do.
These 27 dolphins were captured from the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Some were transported to Langkawi. While others were kept in Subic bay, Philippines. When two of the dolphins in Langkawi died, Resorts World moved them all to the Philippines.
These 25 are now waiting for their new enclosures to be ready at Sentosa, Singapore.
And what is their new life going to be like? All we can be sure of is that it will be nothing like their past one.
Their world has already shrunk to a square sea pen, devoid of variety, bereft of sea life. They can’t hunt anymore. They beg and jump for handouts of dead fish, which arrive in buckets. There’s nowhere for them to roam, except back and forth. And nothing to do except turn round and round and go slowly mad.
The late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau said: “No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal.”
These dolphins face a bleak future. It is up to all of us animal lovers to get Resorts World to rethink their decision to keep them in captivity.
Please ask Resorts World to let the dolphins go. Please lend your voice and support.
Did you know that dolphins don’t smile? They can’t express emotions with their facial muscles. Their mouth is just shaped in a way that we humans misinterpret as a smile. So even when a dolphin is suffering from high stress, visitors to marine parks often come away thinking that the dolphin is having a good time. This is usually far from the truth.
See the RWS dolphins currently undergoing training in The Philippines.
©2011 ACRES Singapore