Tonka, the last false killer whale dies at Ocean Adventure Subic

September 17, 2014

Tonka, the last False Killer Whale at Ocean Adventure in Subic, is dead!

More than a decade and a half ago, Tonka was caught in the deadly dolphin drive hunts in Japan. He survived the most brutal dolphin hunting on the planet because he was bought to be trained as a performing animal. Years after his capture, Tonka and others like him had been confined to live in small pools and forced to perform for food.

Tonka arrived in the Philippines on January 2001 together with five other false killer whales. It is assumed that the whale Sunny died enroute to the Philippines. In only seven months of operation, Deuce, a juvenile male false killer whale dies in July 2001 at Ocean Adventure. Eight year old Coral, a female, followed in January 2004. Hook, a 13 year old whale died in July 2005 and Pounder died in 2010.

According to the marine mammal experts, False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens) have an average lifespan of 58 years for males and 62 years for females.

False killer whales are not the only animals dying in Ocean Adventure. A total of five bottlenose dolphins have died in the facility since 2005 and one sealion in 2005.

Tonka’s death has proven time and again that dolphins do not live long in captivity. With the death of Tonka, we urge Ocean Adventure to heed the wisdom that we have been suggesting to them all these years: set them all free and you can avoid further deaths.

The latest death has affirmed that dolphin parks are really not for education nor conservation. The bottom line is always profit at the expense of animals.

Given this, we call on nature and animal-loving Filipinos to join us in asking for the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to revoke the permit of Ocean Adventure that allows them to keep dolphins, and act now to free the remaining dolphins from this death row of a facility.

Statement by the Earth Island Institute Philippines