Animal rights groups rap Pasig dolphin show
MANILA, Philippines--SEVERAL animal rights groups banded together Sunday and called for a boycott of the traveling dolphin show at Metrowalk Shopping Center in Pasig City, decrying what they called the inhumane treatment of its four show animals.
About 25 members of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, Earth Island Institute-Philippines, Kalikasan Society and Agham held a mock dolphin show near the gates of the Wonderful World of Dolphins to illustrate how the dolphins were starved during their training.
The organizers of the show, however, insisted that their dolphins, Tooty and Fruity, and sea lions, Jello and Jumbo, were well cared for.
Gogoy Avelino, an officer of producer Movers and Shakers Inc., said the dolphins were bred in captivity and, if released in the ocean, would not survive. He said they were fed regularly, given vitamins and received medical care.
Avelino said the show had a permit from the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.
He said that since he started bringing the show to the Philippines in the '80s, no dolphin or sea lion has been hurt.
But Trixie Concepcion, EEI-Philippines coordinator, said the group learned dolphins like those in the show were taken from the waters of Indonesia. She said they were starved when they were taught tricks and then rewarded with food when they learned the routines.
The group said traveling dolphin shows were smaller operations compared to ocean parks and had inferior facilities. The pools were shallower and the water dirty and chlorinated, causing blindness to saltwater creatures, they said.
Traveling and performing for crowds cause the animals much stress, the group said in a statement.
They called on the public not to watch the show.
Kristine L. Alave