Since the famous dolphin suicide, many people are concerned about whether live dolphin shows are good for the mammals or not.
Live dolphin shows can be inhumane and unethical as the animals may be abused in their training. To make more money for Ocean Park, they may be trained more frequently and harshly. If the situation gets worse, they may abuse the dolphins by refusing them food or even hitting them when they can't complete their tricks.
In addition, their small pool at Ocean Park cannot compare to the huge sea they come from. This poor environment, along with the pressure to perform, may put the dolphins under huge mental stress, and increase their suicide rate.
Ocean Park will not stop the shows because they are very popular with tourists. But the park should start looking for new entertainment options that are not harmful to animals.
Mandy Choi, Leung Shek Chee College
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Mandy. But let us quickly dispel the idea that a dolphin has committed suicide in Hong Kong. That never happened. A video surfaced on YouTube last May in which Pinky, a dolphin at Ocean Park, was crashing into the side of its pool. One man said it was a suicide attempt. The park said it was play behaviour, which can be seen in both wild and captive dolphins.
We can't believe everything we read on the internet. People twist things for their own gain. What we do know is that the rumour was put to rest last July after a police investigation. We know that Ocean Park has more than 20 people looking after the dolphins and it is monitored regularly by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
We should always be kind to animals and not abuse them. It is wonderful that you are so passionate about animal rights and conservation. The world needs people like you who can speak for animals that can't speak for themselves.