Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, July 15, 2005

Third Whale Dies at Subic Dolphinarium

Time and again, environmentalists and animal welfare organizations are being proven correct in advocating against the captivity of dolphins and whales for human amusement.

Last 8 July 2005, a third false killer whale died at Ocean Adventure, a dolphin park operated by the Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium (SBME). According to SBME, the animal, a 13-year old female false killer whale named 'Hook', was suffering from a 'gastro-intestinal illness'. SBME is still conducting tests to determine actual cause of the death.

It should be recalled that Deuce, a juvenile male false killer whale, was the first one to die in the park on July 2001. This was followed by the death of Coral, also a juvenile female false killer whale on January 2004. The death of the third whale brings down to two the number of surviving false killer whales in the facility.

For years, environmental and animal welfare groups have been educating the public with regards to the true nature of dolphins and whales. Environmentalists claim that these animals die prematurely while in captivity since they are inherently unsuited for confinement. In the wild, dolphins and whales evolved as free swimming animals that roam the sea for hundreds of kilometers in a day. Abrupt change in their systems such as captivity disrupts their overall behavior and can affect their immune systems. This may explain why dolphins and whales in captivity are more susceptible to infections, and consequently, to shorter lives.

According to Trixie Concepcion, Coordinator for Earth Island Institute-Philippines, "The height of animal cruelty is to deprive an animal of its life. In the wild, false killer whales live up to 62 years of age, but confinement in Ocean Adventure will make sure that none of these animals live to reach maturity."

Earth Island Institute-Philippines (EII-Phils) and the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) are urging the government, through the Bureau of Animal Industries (BAI) to conduct an investigation on the continuing deaths of animals in the facility.

For years, both EII and PAWS had been advocating the closure of the facility for the violation of the Animal Welfare Act (RA 8485) and the Environmental Impact Statement System (PD 1586). The SBME is currently facing charges in court for the violation of these laws. Since its operation in 2001, it has failed to secure an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) in violation of PD 1586, and it has also failed to register with the BAI, in violation of the Animal Welfare Act (RA 8485).

Reference: Trixie Concepcion - 9263139; 0927-5254951


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