Big 5 or Big 6?

Nairobi, Kenya – Kenya is famous for sightings of the “Big Five” safari animals: lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes and the thick-skinned rhino.

Next month, that could become the “Big Six”, thanks to a new marine enclosure that will allow holidaymakers to snorkel with live whale sharks.

Organisers of the Indian Ocean sea park say the €100 ticket price ($134 USD) will fund schemes to stop the docile fish from being wiped out.

But a vocal group of conservationists says it is cruel and unnecessary to catch and exhibit animals, and wants to stop the scheme, saying it puts money before animal welfare. Organisers have dismissed critics as “over-emotional eco-zealots”.

The heated debate raises a question that splits conservationists: whether showcasing captive animals advances or hinders their efforts.

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