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Durban - Massive New Year parties at Durban’s uShaka Marine World, which had animal lovers up in arms, have been given the green light by the NSPCA which said it was satisfied that the park’s sea-life and reptiles were not at risk.
Social networks were abuzz this week with people protesting against the parties. The high noise level would kill dolphins, sharks, fish, seals, birds and reptiles, they said.
Isabel Wentzel, national head of the NSPCA’s wildlife protection unit, said she was satisfied the creatures were “not at risk”. She said: “It is good that people are concerned. We encourage that, but these are not the first events of this kind held there.
“They have also promised they will have senior staff on duty to manage the creatures… including the use of navy equipment used to monitor underwater wavelength.”
Sound engineer Mark Phillips, one of those who started the internet protest, said there were international examples of captive dolphins dying in similar circumstances. “The sub-base sound pumping through those tanks will be massive… Can you imagine being stuck in a tank with those sound waves crushing your body for hours?
“They say they are going to monitor the animals and stop the party if they are stressed. Imagine trying to get hundreds of drunk partying people to stop because the dolphins are stressed.”
Shawn Thompson, uShaka’s chief executive officer, confirmed events were scheduled for the Cargo Hold, Upperdeck and Moyo restaurants.
The main party would be at Moyo which was outside the premises. The speakers would be positioned indoors to ensure minimum sound spilt over. The function at Upperdeck restaurant would end before 1am. “We had this function three years ago with the same company and there were no problems,” he said. - The Mercury