China Cetacean Alliance investigation into Harbin Poseidon Ocean Kingdom, China (September 2019)
Harbin Poseidon OK is owned by KWZone group, a Malaysian company. This park was designed by Legacy Entertainment, and opened in 2017 but already looks old very dated. The Poseidon Ocean Kingdom is part of the Poseidon Water Park which has an entertainment facility and artificial beach.
The region of Heilongjiang has a very cold winter sometimes with temperatures lower than 30 minus Celsius. Our investigators reported not seeing many visitors during their trip and were told by their taxi driver that the business for this place peaked in summer vacation, and that most visitors were coming for the Water Park.
Our investigators saw four bottlenose dolphins during the dolphin show however we recorded that there were five from news published in both 2017 and in 2019. When questioned staff stated there were only four in total. There were no signs or info boards near the dolphin show. The show was a circus-like show consisting of tricks and a pre-show Q&A. One question “how does a dolphin sleep?” was answered “a dolphin is mammal and breathes through its lungs so they do not sleep (in water).”
Though there was no close contact session with the dolphins during the show visitors could pay 200RMB to take a photo with the dolphins and even touch them after the show. A little girl took part in and she was left alone, and in bare feet on a slippery floor, when the photographer was taking the shots.
In the seal exhibit there was one Baikal seal and four Harbor seals but the sign only stated only that it housed a Baikal Seal. One Harbor seal had cataract in its right eye. There was no way to confirm if the water was saline or not.
Two Asiatic black bears were kept in an exhibit and they were jolting and pushing each other. Our investigators couldn’t tell if they were simply having fun or they should be separated. The advertisement on the facility’s website stated an incorrect scientific name for the bears and promoted human interaction with the bears.
One of the squirrel monkey’s tail was almost bald.
Two macaws were chained for photo taking which cost 30RMB/person. One managed to unlock one foot. I saw signs of bumble-feet on both birds.
There was at least one hawksbill in the sea turtle tank. Signs on the tank encouraged people to throw coins into it the tank for a blessing and people could pay to feed the turtles. Some turtles had rotted shells.
One unusual scene we noted at this facility was its moray eels which seemed to be very active. Normally moray eels are shy and would normally hide but our investigators stood in front of the tank for at least 5 minutes and the eels kept swimming.