Campaign to save dolphins from becoming entertainers at Sentosa
SINGAPORE, 4 June 2011: In just one week, the number of facebook users who have joined the campaign to persuade Resorts World Sands (RWS) to abandon its intention to display 28 dolphins caught from the wild has ballooned to over 7,000.
Entitled Save the World’s Saddest Dolphins, the campaign has been coordinated by the wildlife rescue group ACRES (Animal Concerns, Research & Education Society) which has been actively working towards enabling the captured dolphins to be released back into the wild where they belong.
Between December 2008 and December 2009, 27 dolphins were captured near the Solomon Islands and transported to 2 training facilities located at Langkawi, Malaysia, and Subic Bay, the Philippines. However, the appalling care and facilities at Langkawi led to 2 of the captured dolphins to die in October, 2010, as a result of bacterial infection, forcing RWS to transfer the remaining dolphins at Langkawi to Subic Bay as well - footage obtained later through an undercover investigation by ACRES officers confirmed the poor and unacceptable conditions of the facility.
On 27 May 2011, ACRES launched this unique awareness campaign to encourage all animal lovers to create videos or take photos that portray the message to stop dolphin captivity and petition against the decision by RWS to bring in these dolphins for entertainment. In addition, it is hoped that the popular support against using dolphins for entertainment and as profit-generating commodities will convince the government to step in and put a stop to RWS' intention to bring in these dolphins altogether.
While the animal activists have cited scientific fact and produced empirical evidence to illustrate why the dolphins should not become installments of the Integrated Resort (IR) at Sentosa, RWS has been hardpressed to offer any convincing argument to support its decision to go ahead with its unpopular plan.
In fact, the man whose company sold RWS the wild-caught dolphins, Chris Porter, has since ceased this business. Although he was considered the world’s biggest dolphin broker, he is now questioning the value of using such animals for entertainment purposes and keeping them in artificial environments that are a far cry from their native habitat. In a similar positive move, United Parcel Service (UPS), which shipped the seven dolphins from the Solomon Islands to the Philippines in 2008, said it would stop moving this kind of cargo as the practice violated its environmental principles.
In addition to these directly-affected parties involved in this particular case, a similar attempt by Mexico in 2003 to bring in 28 wild-caught dolphins for one of its attractions has resulted in almost half of them dying within a 5-year period. This unpleasant experience led the Mexican government to impose an outright ban on the importation and exportation of live cetaceans for entertainment purposes in February 2006.
The growing pressure from the community-at-large - not just animal lovers - seems to be too significant for RWS to ignore and may very well be powerful enough to reverse the negative actions that have taken place so far. But it will take every man, woman and child in Singapore to band together - and ACRES has provided an excellent platform through which this can happen.
Become part of the solution by visiting the official campaign website at www.saddestdolphins.com, joining the facebook community for the campaign at www.facebook.com/Save-the-Worlds-Saddest-Dolphins, and submitting your own video petition to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also educate yourself on the serious implications of capturing dolphins from the wild by reading ACRES' comprehensive report on the issue at www.saddestdolphins.com/report.