Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium, Inc (“SBMEI”) has operated a marine themed park for 20 years called Ocean Adventure in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, a former US naval base installation, in the Philippines.
The park has dolphins, sea lions and various other animals under its care. Food and support for the animals were provided by revenue generated by guests who visit the park. However, due to the spread of the coronavirus, revenue for the park has been reduced to zero as the entire island of Luzon has been put under enhanced quarantine. Ocean Adventure has temporarily ceased operations and is now only manned by volunteers to keep our animals alive. We currently have enough food for our animals to last to the beginning of June, however, since we do not expect to generate any revenue anytime soon, we are trying to raise funds to feed and support our animals for the rest of the year 2020.
In addition to operating Ocean Adventure, SBMEI is a founding member of the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network (“PMMSN”), is engaged in protecting the waters of Illanin Bay and managing the West Illanin Forest here in Subic Bay, Philippines. We also employ and support the local Kanawan tribe, who are indigenous to the area. Thru our education programs, we have helped teach the technical staff of local towns, cities, and provinces in the best methods to handling of marine mammals stranded throughout the Philippines. In fact, two of our dolphins, Valentina and Sam, were rescued after being injured by fisherman illegally using dynamite to fish.
The money raised will be used to (1) purchase animal food, medicine and vitamins; (2) help support the animal caretakers, divers and volunteers who maintain their enclosures, veterinarians and lab techs who provide for the health care of the animals (3) pay for utilities for pumps, freezers and other equipment for the care of the animals.
We have considered going to the banks for emergency loans, but since the local economy is virtually at a standstill and for other reasons, it is all but certain that we may not be able to get relief in time to support our animals. And so we have decided to launch this appeal.