RWS’ Dolphins Going Through Hoops to Get Here
Following this controversy is an amusing insight into what profit-centred corporations and do-gooder organisations think. The former would argue that what they are doing is in the best interest of people/customers and the animals, and the do-gooders would insist that some animals have more rights and freedom than other animals.
The 25 bottle-nosed dolphins in the centre of the storm in the teacup were caught a few years ago and shipped from Solomon Islands to the Philippines around 2008-2009 and later. They are now to be re-exported from the Philippines to Singapore. Releasing these dolphins 3-4 years after they were caught back into the wild would probably kill some of the dolphins as they might have lost that edge to survive in their natural habitat after being trained. So since they are already “domesticated”, might as well ship them as a commercial product to their new home in RWS.
But ACRES disagrees, preying on the emotional appeal to the masses of dolphins as smart mammals and big evil corporations like RWS dealing in endangered species for profit at the expense of environmental protection. A valid point as environmental sustainability is important.
The next questions are whether RWS commissioned the capture and purchase of the dolphins from the Solomon Islands in the first place, or the dolphins were already netted as part of a global trade in dolphins and other ocean wildlife. If they did, then the image of RWS as an evil corporation is more stark. But if they did not and bought them off-the-shelf, it is akin in some ways to people going to pet shops to buy dogs, fish or other more exotic pets taken from the wild and not bred in captivity.
Anyway, RWS is buying the dolphins for the Marine Life Park which would hold 100,000 marine animals of over 800 species. It is like an aquatic zoo of captured ocean fauna. So is Acres fundamentally against zoos?