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No evidence of dolphin mistreatment at Ocean Park Hong Kong

July 22, 2013

Hong Kong Police have closed their investigation into alleged mistreatment of an Ocean Park dolphin after government vets found no evidence of wrongdoing.

There was a public outcry in May when a video was posted on YouTube showing Pinky, a 14-year-old female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, slamming herself against a pool wall amid claims she was trying to kill herself.

However, a statement from Ocean Park managemend suggested that this was play behaviour seen in both wild and captive dolphins.

The statement also explained "investigations conducted by the (Hong Kong) Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department noted that there was no abnormality seen in any of the dolphins, including Pinky."

Hong Kong Legislative Council member Claudia Mo Man-ching had asked the Police to check whether Pinky had been subjected to animal abuse.

However, in tandem with visits by Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department officials to Ocean Park's Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre, the Police investigation concluded that there was no evidence showing Ocean Park had mistreated Pinky.

According to Ocean Park, the Department concluded the living environment should not affect Pinky's behaviour as she was born in captivity and well adapted to her human carers.

The Department also found no external wounds on Pinky or any sign that she was in pain.

Ocean Park Zoological Operations and Education Department Executive Director Suzanne Gendron said Pinky had all along been in an "enrichment program" that included providing toys that would stimulate her mind.

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