An Aquarium in Japan Cancels All Sea Lion Shows to Focus on Animal Welfare

Japan is famous for its many zoos and aquariums. They have been popular among tourists and locals alike due to their amusing marine shows of orcas, dolphins, and sea lions. Rumor has it that some marine aquariums use these live performances as their selling point. However, 1 particular aquarium in Japan, the Katsurahama Aquarium, suddenly announced that they would be canceling all sea lion shows. As soon as the news was announced, it aroused heated discussions and debate among netizens online.

Katsurahama Aquarium is in Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture, Japan. It has always been a famous tourist attraction due to its Sea Lion Show.” However, the official Twitter page posted an announcement that in June 2022, “We will be canceling the Sea Lion show!” Curiosity filled the minds of tourists and locals who asked, “Why was it suddenly canceled?”

The aquarium staff explained that it has been nearly 3 years since the pandemic struck worldwide, and they have made significant changes to museum operations. During the worldwide lockdown, they have implemented a new system based on animal welfare. Making the necessary changes and adjustments, the original hours when the performances are held will be the time for health management of the sea lions and other animals in the establishment. During these times, the caretakers will conduct some training or games for the amusement of the sea animals.

“Our aim is never to force animals,” one of the caretakers said. “So, in the past, when we encountered our animals in poor condition, and no matter how many visitors there were on that day, we had to change or cancel the segment of the show. It is us who make the animals happy and let them live for a long time. This is one of the reasons for abolishing animal performance. We will work harder to care for the animals’ bodies and minds.”

After canceling the live performances and the animals no longer “go to work,” the aquarium staff noticed a big change in their resident animals. They have become significantly more lively and energetic. One of the staff said, “We can feel this change in their eyes when we call out their names.”

Regular visitors, tourists, and other netizens have a positive outlook on the aquarium’s move to cancel the performances. They have left uplifting comments on Katsurahama Aquarium’s Twitter page:

“I agree with this decision!”

“It’s great to be able to do this!”

“If I could see the keeper and sea lions resting and napping together at Katsurahama Aquarium one day, that’s great and lucky!”

“I have the impression that the Kyoto Aquarium also has such a policy. When the breeder introduces the animal performers, the dolphins will expose their bellies and wave their fins. This is also very cute and satisfying. I really hope that they can avoid putting pressure on the animals.”

“This way, I can appreciate the animals, and the animals are relaxed and happy.”

“It’s enough to see the keepers playing games or feeding the dolphins and sea lions.”

Images credits: © Grapee, Katsurahama Aquarium, and 桂浜水族館 公式 (Katsurahama Aquarium Official)/Twitter

Recommended For You

About the Author: Ria P. Jacinto

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *