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Sea World hits back at TripAdvisor ticket promotion ban
Sea World on the Gold Coast has hit back at TripAdvisor's decision to include it in a ticket sale ban for attractions that feature whales, dolphins or porpoises
The internet travel giant last week announced a ban on any theme parks and tourist attractions that breed or import whales, dolphins and porpoises for public viewing.
TripAdvisor has advised that it will review experiences for sale on its platform and remove any commercial facilities that breed or import whales, dolphins and porpoises by the end of the year, according to a statement.
The new policy, which groups Sea World - widely famed for its marine conservation work - alongside more exploitative international attractions, comes after TripAdvisor stopped ticket sales for elephant rides, selfies with tigers and other tourist entertainment deemed cruel to animals in 2016.
The policy, which will not apply to marine sanctuaries that care for cetaceans already in captivity, came, TripAdvisor stated "after careful consideration of the scientific evidence and arguments presented from all sides.
"Ultimately, we concluded that whales and dolphins do not thrive in captivity - the evidence is both plentiful and compelling.
"These are highly intelligent animals with complex needs, and their natural environment and wide-ranging roaming habits in the wild cannot be mimicked in inland facilities and small sea pens."
As reported by AAP, Sea World has hit back at the announcement, saying the health and wellbeing of animals were its top priority and it has a strong reputation for caring for marine animals.
Sea World urged the travel website to research the science and conservation-based evidence which supports zoos and aquariums and to reach out if they have any questions.
In a statement reported by AAP, it advised "Sea World is proud of our global leadership in animal rescue, education, research and conservation, and our world-class facilities.”
Advising that it is an accredited zoological institution under the Zoo and Aquarium Association and also regulated by multiple state and Federal Government agencies, it added “we have a long history of working with marine animals, with over 40 years of experience in animal care, research and rescue."
Brisbane newspaper The Courier-Mail reported Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones as calling on TripAdvisor to "show some common sense" and overturn the ban.
However, animal activist group Justice for Captives celebrated the announcement, writing on Facebook “progress in kind tourism! We want more companies stop selling tickets to Sea World and similar parks.”
Sea World is often confused with US-based SeaWorld Entertainment which has featured killer whales.
In August, Qantas advised that it will no longer promote attractions that keep captive cetaceans, assuring guests that it has a "responsibility as Australia’s largest airline".
Qantas did not reveal if this applies to Sea World but as of 7th October does not appear to list the attraction on its website.
Image: Dolphin experience at Sea World (top) and the Dolphin Cove arena (below).
11th September 2019 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks reveal schedule for opening of new Sea World attractions
30th August 2019 - Qantas to end promotion of attractions featuring captive cetaceans
28th August 2019 - Sea World team releases pair of rehabilitated green turtles
21st May 2019 - Sea World Cruises launch new whale watching vessel
19th March 2019 - Coffs Harbour’s marine attraction ends breeding dolphins in captivity
14th February 2019 - Sea World’s oldest dolphin dies aged 55
15th December 2018 - Animal activists disrupt Sea World dolphin and seal shows
14th November 2018 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks set to launch its biggest Summer Ever
27th February 2017 - Sea World Polar Bears highlight conservation cause on International Polar Bear Day
6th December 2016 - Sea World Rescue Team rehabilitates injured dolphin
22nd March 2016 - SeaWorld USA to move away from killer whale shows
7th January 2015 - Animal rights campaigners target Sea World dolphins
29th May 2014 - Sea World revealed as Australia’s most visited attraction
28th February 2011 - Sea World Resort and Water Park Launches Exclusive Dolphin Presentation
29th March 2010 - Baby Dolphin Thrives at Sea World
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