Activists slammed over theme park protest
A GROUP of animal rights protesters were removed from Sea World Gold Coast yesterday after disrupting a dolphin show.
Eight people from the group Justice for Captives stood in front of the crowd mid-show, showing off banners "animals are not entertainment" and "dolphins belong in the ocean".
A video sent to the Bulletin, shows the theme park's security guards removing the protesters within minutes.
A theme park visitor in the crowd was also filmed hurling abuse at the protesters before the group were escorted off the premises.
There were dozens of children in the crowd watching the incident which lasted less than three minutes.
"They are going to detain us," one man from the group said.
"There's no reason to detain us. We are leaving," a woman said. "We are leaving quietly. We didn't resist anything. We've not done anything wrong. We've paid out entry fee."
A Sea World Gold Coast security guard said to the group their operations officer would like to speak with them before they left the premises but the members declined.
"There is no legal right to keep us here. You need to let us out," the woman said.
Police were called and attended the scene but no one was arrested or charged.
A Village Roadshow Theme Parks spokesman said the company was "currently working with the authorities to take the appropriate actions."
"At the commencement of the Sea World dolphin show yesterday morning, our team identified that members of a radical minority group were among the audience," they said.
"The team approached the members who then reacted by briefly standing at the front of the show with homemade banners, before they were escorted from the park by our professional security team.
"We welcome constructive and professional dialogue with activist groups in a respectful manner and find the tactics of this group unprofessional and dangerous, not only to themselves but to our team members and guests.
"Sea World is an accredited zoological institution under the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) and is also regulated by multiple state and federal government agencies.
"We have a long-history of working with marine animals, with over 40 years of experience in animal care, research and rescue.
"The health and wellbeing of our animals is of the utmost priority at Sea World and we have a strong reputation for caring for marine animals.
"Sea World also operates the not-for-profit Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation.
"Through the Foundation, Sea World has rescued, rehabilitated and released thousands of marine animals as well as funded over 150 marine research projects with high scientific merit. In addition to this, the Sea World Marine Sciences team are on call 24 hours every day, 365 days per year should a marine animal need rescuing."
The group posted on Facebook they are "standing on the right side of history".
"(Yesterday), a group of concerned Australians legally entered Sea World on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.
"We peacefully disrupted the 'Dolphin Affinity' dolphin show in an effort to raise awareness about the cruelty behind using dolphins, seals, polar bears and other marine animals for human entertainment and profit."
Justice for Captives claim they first protested Sea World Gold Coast three years ago.