20 Feb 2006

Solomon Island dolphin park owner under fire

8:09 pm on 20 February 2006

The operator of a controversial dolphin park in Solomon Islands has rejected claims by US animal liberation activists that his animals are starving and dehydrated.

Chris Porter, who runs the park on Gavetu Island, says a recent cyclone had reduced fish supplies for his dolphins but things are now back to normal and they are in professional care.

This is not the first time the Park has come under fire, in 2004 28 Bottlenose Dolphins were exported to Mexico sparking an international outrage.

Last year the government imposed a ban on such exporting.

Meanwhile, Ric O'Barry, from the animal protection group One Voice, says he has seen footage showing the dolphins had lost so much weight that their heads were shaped like peanuts about their skulls.

Mr O'Barry has also urged the government to take over the park.