Adopt-a-rabbit plan draws ire of activists

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 February, 2011, 12:00am

A theme park's adopt-a-rabbit scheme attracted protests yesterday, with Christian and animal-rights activists accusing it of gimmickry to draw visitors.

A small group of activists distributed leaflets to visitors to Ma Wan Park in Tsing Yi asking them to boycott the Noah's Ark attraction. They also used the Facebook social networking website to press their case.

For HK$20, Noah's Ark lets a visitor play with its rabbits, feed them and even adopt one. Activists said they had asked the park to drop the plan but it refused to listen. They are angry because they see it as a threat to the rabbits' lives.

'They said visitors could adopt the rabbits,' said Cheung Yuen-man, of the animal-rights group Animal Earth. 'How can they ensure [the visitors] are suitable for that? And how about those that are not getting adopted? It's very irresponsible to do so.'

They were also concerned that moving the rabbits to a strange environment would frighten them.

A Ma Wan Park spokeswoman said it stopped allowing visitors to hold the rabbits a week ago in response to complaints from animal rights' groups.

She said people interested in adopting would have to attend seminars and pass an assessment before they could take their rabbit home.

The park is offering about 10 rabbits. The spokeswoman said it had received fewer than five applications.

Those not adopted would be kept at the park, she said.