Controversy over ‘wild capture’ whale shark safari swims in Kenya
Next month, there are plans to create the “Big Six” in Kenya adding to lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes and rhino as a draw to tourists, due to a new marine enclosure for holidaymakers to snorkel with live whale sharks.
Organisers of the ‘Indian Ocean’ sea park say the ticket price will fund conservation schemes to stop these fish from being wiped out. However conservationists have voiced concern over welfare issues of wild capture and exhibiting of the animals in a netted off area, describing this as a money making scheme that ignores animal welfare.
“They plan to attach ropes and buoys to the tail fins and tire the animals out,” Kenyan animal rights activist, Raabia Hawa, said. “This method has been banned in India because it is cruel and has been known to kill sharks in the process.”
The park organisers have called their critics “over-emotional eco-zealots”.