South China zoo allegedly trains dolphin

Updated 2017-12-22 10:00:20 Global Times

A South China zoo is being investigated by fishery authorities for allegedly training an endangered dolphin for a commercial performance.

An Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin performed for visitors to the Nanning Zoo in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Saturday, according to a video sent to the Global Times on Thursday.

It was shot by Hu Chunmei, secretary of the Endangered Species Fund of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation.

In a clip Hu showed to the Global Times, the China Class A protected animal shoots a ball at a basket and performs other tricks to receive fish from a trainer. Loud applause and cheers greet the performance.

An investigation will be conducted, Mo Zhitao, an official of Guangxi Fishery Law Enforcement Command, reportedly told the Kankan News.

"The dolphin was doing behavior training rather than performing," a zoo employee, surnamed Lei, told the Global Times on Thursday. "The training is for medical and health check purposes."

Asked if visitors pay to take pictures or interact with the white dolphin, Lei did not reply.

Animal performances are forbidden at zoos, according to a planning document on zoos issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in 2013.

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