Ocean Park will not import wild belugas

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2011:

HONG KONG--Ocean Park chair Allan Zeman on August 29,  2011 announced that the Hong Kong exhibition facility had decided against importing six wild-caught beluga whales from Russia for inclusion in a Polar Adventure attraction scheduled to open in 2012.  “Everyone can rest assured no belugas from the wild will be imported into Ocean Park–not from Russia or from anywhere else,”  Zeman told media.

Captured in the Ohotsk Sea,  along with seven others,  the belugas have reportedly been held for more than a year in anticipation of transfer to Ocean Park.

The Hong Kong SPCA, Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, Animals Asia Foundation and Humane Society International campaigned against the acquisition.

“This news is of course very welcome,”  said Asian Animal Protection Network founder John Wedderburn,  “but it should be noted that it is only a minor victory.   Ocean Park has only conceded on wild-caught beluga whales. We still have a big fight ahead of us,” Wedderburn predicted,  “to stop them from bringing in captive-bred whales,  polar bears,  more dolphins,  etc.”


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