RWS comes under fire for dolphin ad on Facebook

    Resorts World Sentosa, owned by Malaysian gaming giant Genting, has come under fire on social media for an advert the company posted on its Facebook site promoting captive dolphins as an attraction at its marine life park.

    The Facebook ad, which promotes dolphin encounters from S$68 ($50) and a competition to name a dolphin calf born in the aquarium, angered Facebook users who attacked the controversial practice of keeping dolphins in captivity for commercial gain.

    “You can spend all the money in the world to buy ads for your disgusting exploitation program – the world has already started waking up to the atrocious cruelty that is dolphin captivity. Hopefully not too far in the near future, dolphin and whale captivity will be regarded as passe and taboo as circus rings of the past,” one user, Shuyun Tay, wrote in the comment thread. 

    Another posted: “RWS why don’t you put your senior management team in a cage and let strangers touch you all day long. Tell me if you like the feeling yeah.”

    One user went as far as calling Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to ban the ad from the site.

    The tirade on Facebook follows an interview earlier this month with Louis Ng, founder of animal rights group ACRES, who said his organization has seen renewed support for the freedom of the dolphins after four died since they were bought from the Solomon Islands in 2010. ACRES has received more than 670,000 signatures for a petition to pressure Resorts World Sentosa to release the remaining 23 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins that it acquired in 2010.