File: A struggling Hong Kong theme park has said it will end its controversial dolphin and sea lion shows.
HONG KONG - A struggling Hong Kong theme park has said it will end its controversial dolphin and sea lion shows but will continue to allow visitors to hug a dolphin, drawing criticism from animal rights groups.
Ocean Park said it would replace the daily shows at its flagship enclosure with "underwater viewing opportunities" for visitors.
"Under the new plan, the Ocean Wonder show will cease," said Leo Kung, chairman of Ocean Park.
However, the park said it would continue to allow visitors to pay to feed and pose with the dolphins in the water.
Ocean Park's captive animal shows and dolphin-petting activities have long been criticised by the animal rights community.
Dolphins suffer physically and mentally from life in captivity, according to the Born Free Foundation which also says on its website that physical interactions with the public are "highly stressful" for the animals.