Dying to entertain us
(A Letter to the Editor)

September 5, 2014

Imagine being torn away from your family and seeing them butchered while your abductors sell you off to slavery. You are then brought into a facility where you can never leave. You are not fed until you do strange behaviors amid noise and a crowd that you are not used to. You are introduced to strange people who say they are your ‘family’ but actually paid to have you abducted from your home. There are also some like you, but they don’t last long, they die, one by one, until you are the only one left. And soon enough, the stress of your condition causes you to die, maybe with a twisted intestine.

This is the true story of Tonka, the last Pseudorca at the Ocean Adventure facility in Subic. This is the story the owners of the park do not want their audiences to know.

All the imported bottlenose dolphins and Pseudorcas at Ocean Adventure come from the brutal dolphin drive killings in Japan, where fishermen separate the nice looking animals for the marine parks and butcher all other animals. This is the largest dolphin slaughter on the planet, condemned by the entire world and has been the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary, ‘The Cove’. The hunts occur because of the money from marine parks, such as Ocean Adventure, which buy animals caught in the hunts.

Despite the assurances that they are ‘expert’ animal handlers and ‘truly care’ about their animals, the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic has a dismal track record of keeping their animals alive. In all, 6 Pseudorcas have already died at the facility, 4 bottlenose dolphins and a sea lion.

According to the real experts, Pseudorcas (Pseudorca crassidens) live to be 57 years old for males and 62 years for females, a far cry from all Pseudorcas in the facility which died before they even reach 20 years old.

If the facility is truly compassionate to their animals and care about them, they should now set them all free as the rest of the animals may yet survive better in the wild rather than performing until they die at Ocean Adventure.

Letter to the Editor (LTE) by the Earth Island Institute Philippines