19 September 2009

Subic’s Ocean Adventure park gets 4 new dolphins

The highly popular Ocean Adventure marine park has recently acquired four more dolphins to boost the growing cast of marine animals featured in its open-water viewing facilities here.

The new arrivals — three female and one male Bottlenose dolphins — are the “new additions to our already exciting lineup of entertainment and activities,” said John Corcoran, director of the Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium, Inc. (SBMEI), the company that operates the marine park and its sister facility, the Camayan Beach Resort & Hotel.

Ocean Adventure, which is now expanding its marine park and resort business at Subic’s Camayan beach area, is now home to trained dolphins, false killer whales, and sea lions that perform in a huge open-water habitat.

Under a permit approved by the Department of Agriculture, the four dolphins will be part of a cetacean breeding program “so that a stable and sustainable population of Bottlenose dolphins at Ocean Adventure may be achieved,” the SBMEI said in a statement.

The SBMEI added that the firm “has been extremely successful with its sea lion reproductive management program, as evidenced by the birth of three healthy sea lion pups this year.” A total of seven pups have been born at the marine park since 2001, it was learned.

The SBMEI added that the new dolphin arrivals will undergo a routine 30-day quarantine and acclimatization period before they are introduced to the existing dolphin population at the park.

Prior to their transfer here, the four dolphins have been living in an open-water facility in Japan, where they underwent some preliminary conditioning and training for the past two years.

Now, Ocean Adventure’s expert animal care and training staff “will enhance the animals’ development through their internationally-recognized positive reinforcement training techniques,” the SBMEI said.

Aside from being used in the SBMEI’s cetacean breeding program, the four dolphins will also be involved in shows at the Ocean Adventure park, which opened two new shows this month: “Rap, Jump and Roll Show” and “Walk on the Wild Side.”

The first show, presented at a new seaside stadium, features international trampoline performers, along with the park’s famous mascots and dancers; the second, which is shown at the new Eco Theater, presents animals of the forest, along with Aeta tribesmen who demonstrate jungle survival skills.

Earlier, SBMEI chairman and CEO Timothy Desmond announced that the firm has recently opened “Adventure Beach”, which is a special events beach for group outings and team-building activities.

The development of the new seaside stadium, the Eco Theater, and the Adventure beach are part of the company’s 10-year master plan designed to beef up the park’s extensive product line-up.

Desmond said the firm’s expansion “is evidence of our ongoing commitment to provide our guests with the very best in family entertainment.”

Under the expansion program, Ocean Adventure’s large open-water lagoons “will be expanded even more to provide one of the largest (marine) habitats in the world,” the SBMEI statement said.

A portion of the lagoon “will be dedicated exclusively to the dolphin reproductive management program,” the company added.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority deputy administrator for tourism Raul Marcelo welcomed Ocean Adventure's efforts to enhance its attractions and facilities.

"This will not only attract more tourists to the only marine theme park here, but also strengthen further Subic's position as a unique and wholesome tourist destination," Marcelo said. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

PHOTO: An animal trainer makes dolphins perform at the Ocean Adventure marine park in the Subic Bay Freeport.