Police have been called to a Gold Coast theme park after more than a dozen animal rights activists stood outside to fight against animal captivation – the third popular tourist attraction to be targeted in two days.
Several members of the “Justice for Captives” group could be seen in videos posted to social media on the roof of the Dreamworld front entrance wearing animal masks on Sunday, while others were lined up in front of the gates holding signs.
Messages on the signs read “slaves for selfies” and “captivity is cruel” alongside pictures of tigers in cages.
In a series of posts to their Facebook page, the group said they were “making a stand” to raise awareness about the use of animals for profit under the guise of education and conservation.
“Dreamworld is a zoo disguised as a theme park and houses over 400 animals in very small and unnatural enclosures,” the post read.
“Whilst we respect the collection of donations for global wildlife conservation programs, Justice for Captives disagree that animals should be put on display and exploited for photo opportunities and tourism ‘experiences’ in the process.”
There were similar scenes on Saturday at Sea World when the same group disrupted a seal performance and two dolphin shows.
The protests continued last night with members running into the arena during a performance of Australian Outback Spectacular, a show featuring horses.
Justice for Captives said they want Dreamworld to stop using tigers and native wildlife for tourists amusement and are calling for a longer-term plan to release and rehabilitate the animals.
Six people from the group were arrested and charged with public nuisance for the two disturbances.
Police said Sunday’s protest was peaceful and had not disrupted the theme park’s operations.
In a statement, a spokesman for Village Roadshow Theme Parks – which run the Australian Outback Spectacular show – said Saturday night’s performance was temporarily paused for the safety of the animals and team members.
⚠️URGENT UPDATE⚠️ 🌏AUSTRALIAN ANTI-CAPTIVITY HISTORY MADE🌏‼️JUSTICE FOR CAPTIVES ENTERED THE WATER AT DOLPHIN AFFINITY SHOW AND THE SHOW WAS CANCELLED!! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽#justiceforcaptives #emptythetanks #captivityiscruelty #dolphinsbelongintheocean (And special thank you to an audience member for sharing this video with us after our livestream ended unexpectedly!!!🙏🏼)
Posted by Justice For Captives on Friday, December 14, 2018
“While we are aware that some people do not support the idea of animals in human care, we are proud of our passionate team, our world-class facilities and our position as a global community leader in conservation and education,” Mitchell Olivey said.
“We welcome constructive and professional dialogue with activist groups in a respectful manner and find the tactics of this group unprofessional and dangerous, not only to themselves but to the animals and guests.
“The welfare and wellbeing of animals is of the highest priority at Australian Outback Spectacular and we employ a full-time veterinary and animal care team.”