Monday, December 27, 2010

For PR's sake, free the dolphins

Dec 27, 2010
Letter from Roger Chow

I REFER to recent reports that two of the seven dolphins destined for Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS) Marine Life Park have died in captivity.

RWS has stated that its decision to exhibit the dolphins is a fulfilment of obligations in its winning bid to build one of Singapore's two integrated resorts. If it is therefore beholden to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), then perhaps STB should instead take the initiative in changing course before a dreadful situation is made worse.

Ho Wai the killer whale died in Hong Kong's Ocean Park in 1997 after she lost too much blood in her intestine. She died aged about 22, compared to a natural lifespan of around 50 for those in the wild.

The nation mourned and many questioned the initial wisdom of placing such an elegant creature in captivity.

When more dolphins die prematurely or unnaturally in Singapore - and they surely will, as studies have shown that such marine creatures almost always fare poorly in captivity - a similar backlash will occur.

This will tarnish the image of STB, RWS and Singapore as an environmentally-enlightened nation. It makes commercial and ecological sense to avert the PR disaster before it happens.

To support Roger Chow's appeal, write to TODAY, VOICES at