14 Feb '11, 9am

Hong Kong's rare whales plan riles activists:

Hong Kong's rare whales plan riles activists:

HONG KONG : Beluga whales are majestic, sociable creatures that live in small pods mostly in the icy waters around the Arctic circle. They chat loudly with each other in elaborate clicks, clangs and whistles, have a big seemingly friendly smile and are, for a whale, relatively small -- meaning they can be easily kept in a large tank. And that's exactly what's planned for up to a dozen of the rare mammals at a new attraction at an aquarium in Hong Kong. "We want to use these iconic animals to deliver a message of conservation and education to our guests," Tom Mehrmann, chief executive of Ocean Park, told AFP. "And we want to make sure that the pod is large enough for proper social dynamics to take place." But outraged conservationists say the park's plans have highlighted the issue of aquariums "robbing the world's oceans" of already threatened species just to have a gimmic...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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