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Dolphin Controversy at RWS

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Should RWS cancel their marine exhibit and free the dolphins captured from the wild?

Yes!
3
75%
No.
1
25%
Who cares?
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 4

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Dolphin Controversy at RWS

Postby poodlek » Fri, 29 Jul 2011 4:28 pm

http://wildshores.blogspot.com/2010/12/dolphins-bought-by-resorts-world.html
http://www.facebook.com/ResortsWorldatSentosa
http://www.avaaz.org/en/saddest_dolphins/

Google bomb? Or legitimate outcry? http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=resorts+world+sentosa+dolphins&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Just curious if those of you who have been here for a few years see this playing out. Given that any type of physical protest is difficult to stage in Singapore, do modern day letter-writing campaigns carry any weight? Can Genting be made to lose any face, or is it such an insignificant issue as to not get much attention (or not enough to make a difference at the casino)?

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 29 Jul 2011 5:23 pm

As far as I know public outcry and petitions etc. were enough to stop them in their plans of putting a whale-shark in their aquarium.

As usual it all comes down to $$$. If you can tip that balance the balance of bad PR vs $ there is a chance.

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Postby poodlek » Fri, 29 Jul 2011 7:38 pm

JR8 wrote:As far as I know public outcry and petitions etc. were enough to stop them in their plans of putting a whale-shark in their aquarium.

As usual it all comes down to $$$. If you can tip that balance the balance of bad PR vs $ there is a chance.


This is what I figured. But considering rumours it sounds as if they only make money at the casino (as opposed to any of their attractions) and their patrons seem to mainly be from the PRC, I have a feeling that this campaign will never hit them where it hurts. But then, how did the whale shark thing play out?

And why the heck wouldn't they take a lesson from that before capturing the dolphins? I know, I know, that's probably looking too deeply into it.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 29 Jul 2011 7:54 pm

They WERE going to put a whale shark in their aquarium, it was all over their plans and site.

The web went bonkers and petitions global.

I understand they were halted in their tracks.

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Postby curiousgeorge » Sat, 30 Jul 2011 7:41 am

Funny isn't it...Pink Dolphins in Underwater World since 1999 and yet the protesters don't seem bothered by that...

I have to declare a bias and interest in RWS at this point, to be fair. I also should declare my personal interests as a diver and longtime supporter and contributor to AWARE and other marine conservation projects.

Some very emotive posts from Wildshores and Avaaz. Do your own research on Bottlenose Dolphins (read CITES classifcation and appendix II...where Bottlenose Dolphins are not classed as endangered species.

http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/inf ... vation.htm
http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_h ... olphin.php


Indeed the CITES Secretariat "has received no evidence to demonstrate that trade which is now taking place, or is intended to take place, will have a detrimental impact upon wild dolphin populations." (Willem Wijnstekers, Secretary-General of CITES 15 October 2007) http://www.cites.org/

If you browse the links above, you will see a whole body of work that points to several advantages to Marine Park efforts: learning, husbandry, re-population of wild stocks, research etc.


So the issue re:RWS is whether you feel a moral outrage at the principle of capturing wild animals and/or keeping them in captivity. And if you feel outrage at those principles, why are you not outraged at the pink dolphins (which are an endangered species) at Underwater World? Or indeed any of the attractions at the Singapore Zoo, Bird Park etc or a million other such places around the world?

For myself, I am oddly on the fence. If the net gain is more dolphins in the wild, isn't that a good thing?

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Postby curiousgeorge » Sat, 30 Jul 2011 7:45 am

poodlek wrote:
But considering rumours it sounds as if they only make money at the casino (as opposed to any of their attractions) and their patrons seem to mainly be from the PRC


I would suggest that rumour is not a good body of evidence to any argument. I encourage you to read the Business Times when financials are published. And poll the SG gahmen that mandates RWS and MBS to provide certain facilities & attractions...not all decisions are based on $$$...

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Postby taxico » Sat, 30 Jul 2011 10:44 am

curiousgeorge wrote:Funny isn't it...Pink Dolphins in Underwater World since 1999 and yet the protesters don't seem bothered by that...


i think ACRES has/is still against UW world's pink dolphins. they've been annoyed since day 0.

the pink dolphins' living conditions are appalling. i cannot go into details, but such intelligent (read scheming) mammals should not be "jailed" in small pens for so many hours a day.

i don't know how big the enclosure is at the new resort, but the new pink dolphin lagoon is not any bigger than the old one.

if the new resort has a giant enclosure and big pens for their dolphins, i'm all for it.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 30 Jul 2011 10:52 am

taxico wrote:but such intelligent (read scheming) mammals should not be "jailed" in small pens for so many hours a day.


Are we talking about HDB dwellers? :lol:

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Postby poodlek » Sat, 30 Jul 2011 8:51 pm

Animals kept in captivity is an issue that is close to my heart, given that I have worked in the circus world for the past ten years, I have given it a lot of thought. I too am on the fence about this dolphin thing, and my reason for posting here wasn't necessarily to drum up support for the cause, but to gauge whether the sentiment I've seen online is representative of general sentiment. I'm the furthest thing from a PETA-type.

My concern about the dolphins is two-fold: First, even though keeping these dolphins in captivity will not impact the dolphin population negatively, and could arguably improve their stocks in the wild, will keeping them in tanks be torturous to these beasts who have grown up swimming free? Dolphins seem to be highly intelligent creatures. Are there no other dolphin-husbandry programs in the world where RWS could have sourced their dolphins?
Secondly, two of the captured dolphins have died. How do we know that their deaths were not a result of negligence or plain ol' ignorance on the behalf of the folks caring for these animals? How do we know the same thing won't happen again?

I enjoy seeing certain animals as entertainers, and being on the inside of the industry I can say that certain species are more cut out for it than others. I'm still trying to figure out where dolphins sit for me.

I stumbled upon this issue from the RWS fan page on facebook, I hadn't heard of the pink dolphins before. I will do some reading now.

By a strange turn of events, I believe I know who you are, curiousgeorge. You may know who I am by now too, and if you don't EV-D may be able to tell you. If I am right we spoke on the phone today. For the record, I knew about the mandate, but I was not aware that it was specific enough to include the marine attraction in particular.

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Postby Calmday » Fri, 05 Aug 2011 9:44 am

In this day and age there are plenty of captive bred or rehab animals that can’t be released back into the wild that need homes. There is no reason to take animals from the wild.

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Postby k1w1 » Thu, 11 Aug 2011 1:31 am

Looks like the story is gathering steam internationally. 650,000 signatures asking for the dolphins to be released.

http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/be ... olphin.hln

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 11 Aug 2011 6:38 am

curiousgeorge wrote:So the issue re:RWS is whether you feel a moral outrage at the principle of capturing wild animals and/or keeping them in captivity. And if you feel outrage at those principles, why are you not outraged at the pink dolphins (which are an endangered species) at Underwater World? Or indeed any of the attractions at the Singapore Zoo, Bird Park etc or a million other such places around the world?



I don't think the issue is so black and white. You have marine animals that are territorial, and others that are pelagic (ocean going, they migrate). You can probably put on a display of parrotfish, squirrel-fish even reef sharks if the tank is large enough with little or no harm to the exhibits, But capturing wild pelagics and putting them in a tank or enclosure is like capturing humans and keeping them in boxes. It is no wonder so many wild pelagics die in captivity.

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Thu, 11 Aug 2011 11:55 am

curiousgeorge wrote:If you browse the links above, you will see a whole body of work that points to several advantages to Marine Park efforts: learning, husbandry, re-population of wild stocks, research etc.


So the issue re:RWS is whether you feel a moral outrage at the principle of capturing wild animals and/or keeping them in captivity. And if you feel outrage at those principles, why are you not outraged at the pink dolphins (which are an endangered species) at Underwater World? Or indeed any of the attractions at the Singapore Zoo, Bird Park etc or a million other such places around the world?

For myself, I am oddly on the fence. If the net gain is more dolphins in the wild, isn't that a good thing?



I'm pretty much on the fence in this issue as well BUT I do think in the case of RWS a principle of using animals bred in captivity would make more sense instead of resorting to ones from the wild. I don't really believe they would actively 'conserve' the species and are out mostly for the show.

These are not likely for education or study like those at Underwater Worlds the world over. The Zoo is the same to some extent, and good zoos also the world over, in their breeding programs and study etc. where we have learned so much about thousands of animal species.

I do get a little sad looking at the big cats at the zoo and the relatively small spaces they get, but are they safer, better fed and better loved than they would be in the wild? Are we learning or did we learn anything from them? Certainly the kids get a better impression of what these animals look like and at feeding time how imposing they can be so from this angle, education of the kids can only be a good thing to prevent their (animal) extinction. Getting the kids interested in animals may breed the respect we need between human and animal.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

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