Singapore theme park urged to free dolphins

A Singapore animal welfare group on Friday launched a campaign to urge a casino and leisure complex to free 25 dolphins destined for a new marine park attraction.

Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) bought the mammals for an "interactive dolphin spa programme" at its Marine Life Park, where visitors can interact with the animals.

"We hope that RWS will make a socially responsible decision and free the dolphins," said Louis Ng, executive director of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES).

He issued the appeal at the launch of a campaign called "Save the World's Saddest Dolphins" to raise public awareness through songs and videos on the website www.saddestdolphins.com.

RWS said the dolphins are now residing in the Philippines, being cared for by a team of veterinarians, and would be moved to Singapore only when the facility was ready.

"The animal care team is providing the very best care for our dolphins including a superior diet, daily enrichment, and veterinary care," RWS said in a statement to AFP.

ACRES invited the public to participate in the campaign by filming themselves making "save the dolphins" speeches or holding placards that will be sent to RWS via email, as well as uploaded on Facebook and YouTube.

ACRES said RWS bought 27 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins from the Solomon Islands in 2008 and two had died during training in the Philippines. RWS said the two dolphins died from a bacterial infection which also affects the mammals in the wild, and not from training.

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