A marriage proposal at a theme park became controversial in the Philippines after a dolphin's belly was used to write, “Will you marry me, Rona?” Photos of the proposal from the the Ocean Adventure Subic Bay's Facebook page soon went viral, triggering a maelstrom of reaction. Later, the photos were removed from their page.
The Earth Island Institute was able to take screenshots of the controversial proposal and shared them online. The group is urging a boycott of the theme park and calling for the release of all captive dolphins.
In response, the Ocean Adventure Subic Bay claimed that it used zinc oxide to write the marriage proposal on the belly of the dolphin which the company said is a safe material and used for sun protection:
But Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines said this is no excuse to ‘vandalize’ an animal:
Vandalizing an animal has no place in conservation.
Zinc oxide is used to prevent sunburn and skin irritation in stranded cetaceans, meaning it is used as a medical aid to prevent further injury to the animal in distress
Angela Colmenares-Sabino questions the right of the theme park to exist as an education and conservation facility:
It doesn't matter what material was used to write on the dolphin's belly. The very fact that they're diminishing the important ecological role of dolphins into this clearly states that Ocean Adventure, claiming to be a facility for education and conservation, is not for education and conservation at all but a commercial cruel facility.
Patricia Sorongon-Yap thinks the couple should not be blamed:
Some got mad at the couple, and some doesn't understand why WE are against this idea for a proposal. For me, it's actually not the couples fault. A lot of people are unaware of the simple fact that dolphins are NOT fish, let alone that dolphins or any other kind of wildlife animal are not supposed to be written on especially for commercial purposes (regardless of the material used).
Aldwin M. Arcena weighs both sides of the issue:
I mean what's the worse that's gonna happen to the dolphin? Although it could count into more negative sides if that paint is somewhat poisonous or something. It's just a marked dolphin, nothing to get so angry about
Michael Paolo Tiglao urges commenters to show more anger at people who kill dolphins:
…why are you ranting about this stupid paint, you should share and post how certain asian countries kill dolphins so just to get their soup or dumpling or sometn', why don't we all do something about that, and just so you know thats a park and they care for their animals, that paint will be cleaned after. the dolphin is still alive and no blood is spilled., just my two cents on how negative people can be. have a good day