The building and stocking of a dolphin therapy pool with two dolphins in the popular holiday resort of Hisaronu near Oludeniz, Fethiye has generated a wave of protests from concerned animal lovers locally, nationally and internationally.
The holiday resort town of Hisaronu is located some 300 metres above the world famous lagoon of Oludeniz near Fethiye, Turkey. The resort offers a wide range of accommodation, easy access to the beach resort of Oludeniz via a 10 minute bus ride and fantastic mountain views.
British tourists make up the majority of the visitors to the resort.
In the last ten years the resort has expanded rapidly with a large increase in the number of private properties built, a new shopping centre and a fairground.
But the latest ‘attraction’, a dolphin therapy pool where guests pay to swim with dolphins, has generated a wave of protests from concerned animal lovers locally and internationally.
The protesters state that the pool, which is allegedly only the size of a tennis court, is too small to keep two dolphins in a healthy state. They also say that the altitude of the pool above sea level, the lack of fresh sea water and the high temperatures during the summer months are also a threat to the dolphins well being.
A campaign taking place on the popular social networking site Facebook named “Free the Oludeniz Dolphins” has seen over 12,000 join the page which is aiming to close the pool and release, after rehabilitation, the dolphins back into the wild.
Back in April British tour operator Holidays4U and Thomas Cook took decisive action in support of the campaign and said that they will boycott the venue by not promoting or selling tickets for it.
Other concerned people have also joined in and one holiday home owner said that they took their holiday home off the rental market this season in protest.
And celebreties are joining in too. Coronation Street star Helen Worth and Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden are the latest to join the protest demanding for the release of the two dolphins according to Scottish TV.
But closer to home its the hard working local protestors who are keeping the world updated with the plight of the two dolphins.
They have been closely monitoring the two dolphins, named Misha and Tom, at the pool which is located in the centre of the resort.
Fiona Robson, a resident of Uzumlu, who obtained the picture (shown above) said,
“On June 8th Misha and Tom arrived in Hisaronu from Kas, a journey of over 60 miles, in the back of a refrigerated lorry and were tipped into the pool.
From the photos we have there were no slings in the back of the lorry to suspend them so they must have had a horrendous journey on the floor of this truck only to be finally hauled out and then rolled into the pool.
“To our knowledge there was no marine mammal vet in attendance to check their well being. ”
She continued “How can all this be allowed to go on in a country that has signed up to various wildlife international treaties and agreements?”
Fiona also said that some people concerned for the welfare of the dolphins have been verbally threatened and arrested whilst walking near the pool despite the area it is built on being on a public park.
The pool has now been fenced off and covered in a blue shade.
More information about the protest can be found on the Facebook page here