No more cetacean shows: animal advocates

By Tracy Chien, Special to The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Several animal protection organizations yesterday called on the public to stop seeing sea animal performances because of the inhumane environments that cause the deaths of many whales and dolphins.  Chief of the Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) Chen Yu-min (陳玉敏) pointed out that the whales and dolphins that have been captured and sold to amusement parks and trained for performances were once living in the vast ocean with their groups, but now they depend on antibiotics, hormone treatments and artificial bactericides to survive, and they live in narrow artificial pools. The oppressive environment causes deadly peptic ulcer disease in many animals.

  Cetaceans are sensitive animals of high intelligence that have an ability to experience great pain and separation. Some cetaceans display signs of intense distress, which in extreme cases can lead to them dying from actions such as jumping out of their pools or stopping breathing and drowning, after being separated from their groups, Chen said. Chen added that Taiwan’s amusement parks — Yehliu Ocean World (野柳海洋世界) , Hualien Farglory Ocean Park (花蓮遠雄海洋公園), National Museum Of Marine Biology & Aquarium (NMMBA國立屏東海洋生物博物館), Wanpi World Safari Zoo (頑皮世界野生動物園) — have made huge profits from selling marine mammal performance shows to customers without taking good care of their animals in the last ten years.