Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 April 2015

Truth behind the whale rescue tale

Your story ‘Whale to the rescue as diver fights for her life’, (Belfast Telegraph, July 30) about the woman ‘rescued’ by a beluga whale during a free diving contest in the whales’ Arctic tank in a Chinese aquarium leaves us a little cold.

Many will see this as a demonstration of the bond between humans and animals, but these whales have likely been taught to retrieve objects and people from their pool and bring them to the surface.

The high level of intelligence which allows belugas to learn these skills is the exact thing that makes them unsuited to captive environments, such as Polar Land in Harbin, China where this story originated.

The EU is reviewing its zoos and aquarium legislation early next year, so now is the time to take action in Europe.

Please visit our petition at

Claire Bass

World Society for the Protection of Animals, London

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