Subic marine theme park launches fund drive for animals under quarantine | Inquirer News

Subic marine theme park launches fund drive for animals under quarantine

/ 04:17 AM April 29, 2020

THEME PARK STAR Sea lions and dolphins are the top attractions at Ocean Adventure, the biggest tourism operator at Subic Bay Freeport. The marine theme park is launching a donation drive to keep its animals alive and well amid the lockdown. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Zambales, Philippines — A marine theme park here reached out on Tuesday to donors to help care for marine animals after all entertainment facilities were shut down by the Luzon-wide quarantine.

The Ocean Adventure fund drive was “unprecedented but an absolutely necessary step for us to do,” said Robert Gonzaga, president and chief executive officer of Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium Inc., which operates the park.

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“Since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine over Luzon in March, our revenue has gone down to zero and will remain so for the short term, while our costs and expenses remain high due to the caring and feeding of our animals and maintenance of our facilities,” Gonzaga said.

He said the money would be spent on essential food, medicine and vitamin supplements for six dolphins and about a dozen sea lions. Ocean Adventure is also taking care of sea turtles and blacktip sharks.

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Retrenchment, forced leave

“We rely only on our revenue to deliver the best of care for our animals and to ensure that they are in a safe and secure environment, with expert support available from our vets and caretakers,” Gonzaga said.

The marine park has retrenched more than 200 of its employees and placed the remaining 300 on forced leave.

“Now, all our businesses have shut down, aside from the hotel which is operating with a skeleton force. There is a lot of pain being felt across the entire tourism industry,” Gonzaga said.

“While Ocean Adventure has enough food for its animals to last until the beginning of June, it needs help to feed and support them until the end of the year,” he said.

JOANNA ROSE AGLIBOT

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Ocean Adventure fund drive, Subic marine theme park
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