midiamimesBritish tourist bitten by sea lion at Spanish water park

Categories: News

Photoprop Sealion in Spain (photo: Samantha Goddard)‘It stopped and stared inches from my face. I decided to look away and as I did it sneezed and grunted, and sank its tusks into my thigh. It was agony.’
The incident took place at Aqualand Maspalomas in Gran Canaria, Spain, last week. Ms Edgar, quoted above, had been queuing for a photo opportunity with a sea lion named Rocky when the animal came towards her and sank his teeth into her thigh. A keeper had to chase the animal away before Ms Edgar made her way to a local hospital to receive treatment for her wounds. Ms Edgar booked her holiday through tour agency First Choice and is seeking compensation from TUI, the company that owns First Choice as well as other agencies, including Thomson.
ENDCAP is sadly unsurprised to hear of this incident. Many zoos in Europe continue to profit from encouraging their customers to have souvenir photographs with wild animals that are unpredictable and dangerous in nature. This makes such activities dangerous for both the public and the animals being exploited.
It is undeniable that pinnipeds (including sea lions) fare as badly in captivity as cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). Last year ENDCAP formed its affiliated coalition, Dolphinaria-Free Europe, to focus on the phasing out of this exploitation in facilities that keep and display cetacean species. Through our members, we encourage travel businesses to reconsider their endorsement of such attractions; instead focusing on improving captive standards in the short term and in the long term, seek alternative opportunities for these animals within their natural habitat.
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Author: ENDCAP