Auckland Innovators Nab PETA Award for First-of-Its-Kind Animatronic Dolphin

For Immediate Release:

23 June 2020

GEO AR Games Robotic Dolphin Recognised for Potential to Replace Live Animals in Cruel Marine Parks

Auckland – For creating a jaw-dropping animatronic dolphin that has the potential to upend the cruel captive marine mammal industry, PETA is sending an Innovator for Animals Award to Melanie Langlotz of GEO AR Games.

“Langlotz and the GEO team of augmented reality gaming visionaries have thrown a lifeline to sensitive dolphins who are exploited in ‘swim with dolphins’ encounters and archaic marine parks,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “PETA is proud to honour them for making waves with this high-tech invention that lets people get up close to dolphins without harming them.”

The Oscar-winning documentary The Cove exposes the cruel side of “swim with dolphins” programmes, including that young dolphins in nature are traumatically abducted from their frantic mothers, sometimes illegally. The ones considered less attractive may be killed, and the others are sold to parks around the world, where they’re frequently confined to cramped tanks and unable to swim long distances or escape conflicts with other frustrated dolphins. The stress of captivity can result in painful ulcers and infections and even premature death.

In marine parks like Sea World, highly intelligent, far-ranging animals are forced to swim in circles in small tanks with chemically treated water and are used as breeding machines to create generations of captive animals. Sea World claims its dolphin breeding is done “naturally” and is part of a “carefully managed breeding program” – statements which completely contradict each other.

PETA US is sending an Innovator for Animals Award to Roger Holzberg and Walt Conti of Edge Innovations in San Francisco for their pivotal work with Geo AR Games to create the animatronic dolphin.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.

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