Ocean Park faces questions as two seals die within a week

February 24, 2016 12:19
Ocean Park is facing scrutiny following news that two seals died at the facility recently. Photos: HKEJ, Ocean Park/Facebook

Ocean Park, Hong Kong's popular marine-themed tourist attraction, has admitted that two seals died at the facility within a span of one week.

A harbor seal suffering from cataract died due to congestive heart failure after it was placed under anaesthesia for eye surgery on Monday, according to Apple Daily.

In another case, a baby spotted seal died after its mother mistakenly pushed its newborn into water right after giving birth last Thursday, the report said.

An autopsy report confirmed that the baby seal lung had not inflated, indicating that the animal died as it was unable to breathe.

Suzanne Gendron, executive director of zoological operations and education at Ocean Park, said the mother seal was sleeping when it started delivering at around 3 am on Feb. 18.

When the mother woke up right after delivering the baby seal, it swayed its body and mistakenly pushed the new-born into the water.

The whole incident was captured by CCTV cameras inside the park.

Meanwhile, another seal -- a 7-year-old named Donut, died after it was administered anaesthesia for cataract surgery on Monday this week.

The Park saw 49 seals placed under anaesthesia since 2006, but this was the first time an animal died from the process.

Hung Ka-yiu, president of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, said the latest incidents are surprising.

It is unacceptable that an animal died from anesthesia, he said, adding that the veterinarians should have been aware of the correct dosage to be administered.

In other news related to Ocean Park, park officials are said to have admitted that a red panda jumped over a fence and escaped from the Amazing Asian Animals area recently.

The incident took place when the park was closed for visitors. Park officials caught the animal and put it back in its enclosure.

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