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Sea World hit with new protests over dolphin care

Sea World hit with new protests over dolphin care
December 23, 2019

Sea World’s dolphin care has been the target of further protest with a small group from the Animal Justice Party calling for the Gold Coast marine park to cease the breeding of dolphins in captivity.

Led by NSW Upper House member Emma Hurst, yesterday’s small protest nonetheless grabbed that attention on mainstream media with the Gold Coast Bulletin, 7News and the Mail Online each giving it coverage.

Hurst, who travelled outside her jurisdiction to lead the animal rights protest, stated during “I am disgusted that Sea World continues to breed these highly intelligent animals so that they can profit from circus-style shows.

“Dolphins in captivity can live for up to 50 years. That means that the dolphins any of us saw here as children could still be in the same pools, doing the same meaningless and demeaning tricks.

“Dolphins are wild animals, not objects to be used for our entertainment. Imprisoning them in artificial pools risks teaching children dominance and disrespect for animals.”'

The Gold Coast Bulletin reported that about the group gathered outside the Gold Coast theme park holding placards and chanting for two hours on Sunday.

Having last week responded to World Animal Protection’s claims about Sea World’s animal care,

Village Roadshow Theme Parks Chief Operating Officer Bikash Randhawa slammed Hurst for getting involved in another state's jurisdiction.

Randhawa stated “what is a NSW senator doing in Queensland? I don't get it. It's insanity.”

Randhawa attacked the protestor's actions as "ridiculous" and claimed they were using the brand name to get media attention.

He pointed out that lines to enter the theme park were in the thousands compared to the mere 20-30 people protesting for animal rights.

Adding that “it's just a repetitive, monotonous agenda that I think even our consumers are sick of”, Randhawa went on to point out that Village Roadshow theme parks voluntarily pay money into animal rescue operations, including donating to koalas affected in bushfires.

Hurst, a psychologist, is the Animal Justice Party's second representative in the NSW Upper House after party president Mark Pearson.

In a statement after her victory earlier this year, she said “I won't be some politician full of empty promises.

“I plan to do whatever it takes to make changes for animals because there are still millions of hens in cages, there are koalas having their homes torn down, and there are animals being shot from the skies.”

While Sea World’s dolphin shows are one of its signature attractions, behind the scenes the theme park is responsible for major conservation projects involving dolphins and marine mammals. The Sea World rescue team, which collaborates with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol, undertakes the rescue of stranded and entrapped marine animals - including dolphins, turtles, whales and penguins - and has been called upon numerous times by governments amd authorities to assist with marine animal strandings, frequently then embarking on the rehabilitation of these animals if they are injured.

In some cases, if these rescued animals are unable to return to the wild they remain at the Gold Coast attraction.

Images: Yesterday's protests outside Sea World on the Gold Coast (top, Emma Hurst/Facebook) and Village's Bikash Randhawa (below).          

Related Articles

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15th October 2019 - Village Roadshow reveals profit turnaround in last financial year

17th December 2019 - Sea World Helicopters opens new multi-million-dollar terminal

16th December 2019 - Sea World has ‘nothing to hide’ in its dolphin care

7th October 2019 - Sea World hits back at TripAdvisor ticket promotion ban

4th October 2019 - TripAdvisor adds Sea World on the Gold Coast to list of attractions it will not sell tickets for

13th September 2019 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks announces naming rights partnership with Gold Coast Marathon

11th September 2019 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks reveal schedule for opening of new Sea World attractions

28th August 2019 - Sea World team releases pair of rehabilitated green turtles

22nd July 2019 - Ongoing board changes at Village Roadshow see appointment of Clark Kirby as Chief Executive

21st May 2019 - Sea World Cruises launch new whale watching vessel

28th April 2019 - Sea World polar bear cub celebrates second birthday 

14th February 2019 - Sea World’s oldest dolphin dies aged 55

26th January 2019 - Prominent industry achievers recognised in Australia Day Honours 

15th December 2018 - Animal activists disrupt Sea World dolphin and seal shows

3rd November 2018 - Sea World Resort retains status as ‘Best Australian Family Resort’

11th February 2017 - Animal rights protesters disrupt Sea World dolphin show

23rd December 2016 - Sea World welcomes Baby Dolphin

14th May 2016 - Queensland Government backs Sea World’s marine mammal conservation work

26th January 2016 - Merimbula Dugong recovering at Sea World

4th November 2015 - Sea World Rescue Team Rehabilitates Dolphin

9th February 2009 - Management Changes at Village Roadshow Theme Parks

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