Lau gets seal of approval

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 June, 2006, 12:00am

Maybe Andy Lau Tak-wah should be named Mr Know-it-all. He acts, sings, writes lyrics and Chinese calligraphy, designs sneakers - and trains animals.

The actor, who has been named the ambassador of the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation for the 13th year, performed with the park's sea lion and dolphins in a publicity event and fund-raising dinner held at the Ocean Theatre on Wednesday. The event aimed to raise $3 million for the foundation.

In 1991, Lau spent time learning to be an animal trainer with female killer whale Hoi Wai at the theme park for the filming of The Moon Warriors.

The killer whale, who died from a sudden undisclosed illness in 1997 at the age of 22, was then one of the biggest attractions of the park.

'There was a period of time when I went to the park every morning to spend time with Hoi Wai,' La said. 'It was no different from making a friend.'

As a trainee, he would clean the whale's body and wash the bottom of the pool. Before Hoi Wai got sick, Lau said, he went to the park to celebrate his birthday with her every year. He said he still thinks of the whale sometimes.

'The relationship between Hoi Wai and me was very good because we had spent time together for six months before the shooting started,' said the award-winning actor.

During one scene, Lau shouts at the whale. 'She thought I was really shouting at her. It took me about three months to earn her trust back.'