Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) has come under fire yet again for its decision to continue keeping dolphins in its S.E.A. Aquarium and Dolphin Island attractions.
Following a recent wave of outrage from the public and ACRES, The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is also questioning the value of harvesting the mammals from their natural habitat and placing them in a "tiny facility".
This latest round of anger followed the circulation of footage of a dolphin banging its head against the wall, first uploaded to Facebook page Empty the Tanks on Dec. 1, 2019.The dolphin was allegedly confined in S.E.A. Aquarium under Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), although the company has said they are “uncertain” of the source of the video.
"Human entertainment and corporate profits"
In a statement shared with Mothership, SPCA Executive Director Jaipal Singh Gill condemned the captivity of the dolphins for what he described as the sake of "human entertainment and corporate profits".
"We have to ask what education value there is in a scenario where wild animals are taken from their natural habitat and family, and placed in a tiny facility for the sake of human entertainment and corporate profits. No man made tank can come anywhere close to replicating the natural environment these animals are found in."
RWS offers a wide range of activities involving the dolphins, charging anywhere from S$20 to"observe" them to S$150 for an underwater trek.
Back in 2010, 2012, and 2014, where there were incidents of dolphins dying, SPCA and ACRES had campaigned against their captivity and urged RWS to release the mammals, but to no avail.
Four out of the 27 dolphins that were caught from the wild to live in the aquarium have died so far.
Appeals for release of dolphins ignored
In past years, a number of people have written publicly about the topic, some directly addressing RWS.https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=835736743170407&id=100649703345785&__xts__=68.ARAM1gQ8s8mEyvf7rAlYwpJe32qvfli2lbDqYRcwdtVOdn031xWsvOTojGWPVqLbS9X8cJgtrnAFsDsSuICD58FqovUpY_ec-5axtDRZcAtuEqYA7xbZOFuU0A3CJN5dXil_9zGuZ6A9KfzN1wA617OwKaAUpZU6V_JbnKGxPkDudr37OomRZ5vHngKJX68Gu490Tj9sqBmvPnDnkA7ZrAJ0vDv6lf5tuvkGB0u1olM4PwE4wqjBqWKO1HuA9z6w9nNAtaceVvyLmktHevghruGCeK-wRjqOy1_YxMKalw2CMCXsXULN18_Oqd5suhvGweXB2oPYbPTili4fX3lUJ6o&__tn__=-R https://www.facebook.com/ResortsWorldatSentosa/posts/10154480717399690https://www.facebook.com/ResortsWorldatSentosa/posts/10152501097879690
However, most, if not all of them, went answered.
We did find this one that they did respond to, though:
You can read SPCA's statement shared with Mothership in full here:
"It is not surprising at all to see a wild animal kept in captivity displaying signs of stress. Dolphins belong in the wild and not in a tank.
We have to ask what education value there is in a scenario where wild animals are taken from their natural habitat and family, and placed in a tiny facility for the sake of human entertainment and corporate profits. No man made tank can come anywhere close to replicating the natural environment these animals are found in.
We stand by our position that the dolphins should never have been brought into the country in the first place. The most humane option now is to send them to a sanctuary where rehabilitation efforts can begin.
International animal welfare charity, World Animal Protection, recently called for the public to avoid Dolphin Island at Resorts World Sentosa, highlighting their concerns in a report titled 'The show can’t go on”'.
Top image via RWS