RWS' Dolphin Island to open on Sept 30

David Ee Straits Times 18 Sep 13;

THOSE much-awaited bottlenose dolphins at the Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) finally have a date to make a splash with the public.

The huge marine park will open its new Dolphin Island attraction on Sept 30, but do not expect a mass audience show like those at Sea World on Australia's Gold Coast. Think up close and personal instead.

In groups of five or fewer, up to 80 people a day will be allowed in the water to get acquainted with the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Each group will have half an hour to interact with a dolphin while accompanied by a trainer.

The sessions, conducted in the shallow edges of the dolphins' 11 interconnecting lagoons, are open to non-swimmers, but visitors must be above 122cm tall to take part.

Prices exceed that of Sentosa's other dolphin experience - the Underwater World's Swim With The Dolphins, featuring the humpback variety - at $198 versus $170. Children 12 and under and those over 60 pay $188.

Those who prefer to stay dry can watch for $68 each, or $58 for children and seniors. RWS announced this yesterday as it invited 10 children from The Little Arts Academy to be Dolphin Island's first guests.

Its director of marine mammal operations Adrian Penny said: "Education is our main goal. Visitors get to learn a variety of things about dolphins, especially their anatomy."

Animal rights groups are calling for the rehabilitation and release of the 24 bottlenose dolphins back to the wild. Three of the original 27 caught from the Solomon Islands died from bacterial infections before they arrived in Singapore last year.