Ocean Park's animals are part of its overall conservation efforts
I refer to the letter by Estelle Davies, of the Ocean Futures Society ("Captive dolphins at Ocean Park have no educational value", July 13).
While we agree there are different ways to raise awareness on animal conservation, we strongly believe that in order to engage and influence as many people as we can, a multitude of ways must be used to help stop the loss of Asian biodiversity.
For some people, television, books and use of virtual technologies may be enough; whereas for others, seeing animals in the wild would have a stronger impact.
However, for the majority of people, it is seeing and experiencing close encounters with live animals that actually inspire them to listen, learn and take action to help. Engaging people with well-cared animals at Ocean Park, coupled with our educational messaging and conservation advocacy, have proven to be effective.
With the current grave situation on earth and the rapid loss of biodiversity globally, it becomes self-evident that maintaining animals in accredited well-managed zoos and aquariums for conservation and education purposes is a worthy endeavour to pursue.
Ocean Park's caregivers, biologists and veterinarians care deeply for the animals and the teams of people caring for the animals at Ocean Park are truly passionate about wildlife and biodiversity conservation.
This is one of the reasons why Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong, was established and has been supporting conservation in our region for over 20 years.
Apart from devoting to scientific research on animal conservation, the foundation also supports staff of its own and that of the park's to contribute directly to conservation. It does this through participating in field research and education programmes, serving on conservation committees and publishing educational materials on conservation projects. For more than two decades, Ocean Park has been offering tremendous support in the work of the foundation.
Going forward, we shall continue to deliver the best care to our animal ambassadors and strive to promote the message of environmental protection and conservation to the public by all possible and appropriate means.
Suzanne Gendron, executive director of zoological operations and education, Ocean Park Corporation