Underwater World Singapore to close June 26
Haw Par said that UWS had to vacate the facility and cease operations as the lease on the Sentosa attraction was expiring in less than two years. Its pink dolphins, fur seals and otters have been transferred to Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai, China.
Chimelong Ocean Kingdom has "one of the finest facilities in the world and a strong staff with expertise in marine mammal veterinary and husbandry care, as well as an active breeding and conservation programme", said Haw Par.
"Although UWS’ lease is not ending yet, ensuring that our CITES animals have a good home to relocate to is our responsibility and we decided to facilitate their transfer to COK and to cease operations earlier," it added. "The transfer of the UWS CITES animals to COK was approved by the authorities in Singapore and China and the animals were relocated last week."
As for its 70 staff, Underwater World Singapore told Channel NewsAsia they will be compensated in accordance with Singapore's Employment Act. It is also working with unions to organise a month-long outplacement programme to enhance their career-readiness and will consider them for internal re-deployment.
"We will assist the staff, within our means, to look for alternative job opportunities since they have acquired valuable experience and knowledge during their employment with UWS."
Before the announcement, the "meet the dolphins" session at UWS had been closed since May 26, according to a notice on its website.
To mark its closing, UWS will provide free admissions to beneficiaries from charity partners it worked with in the past. From Tuesday (Jun 7), tickets will also return to 1991 prices, when the attraction first opened - S$9 per adult and S$5 per child. ■