Kimberley Walsh has upset fans after posting a holiday photo of her family in Dubai swimming with dolphins.
The 39-year-old recently enjoyed a break away and had been giving her followers insight into the sun-filled trip – but after sharing images of her family in the water with dolphins many weren’t pleased:
“Definitely not a good idea,” wrote on fan. “V disappointing. Do your own research on animals in captivity and then I hope you can use your platform to educate your followers wisely.”
“Hugely disappointing that someone with your status in 2021 would fund and advocate such cruelty,” said another.
“A quick research would have highlighted all you needed to know about such attractions are never in the best interest of the animals.”
Participating in the activity at lavish five-star hotel, Atlantis the Palm, Kimberley looks in happy spirits in the photo with her three children and husband, Justin Scott, next to the dolphins.
In another photo, instructors at the resort are seen in the water teaching a group of children how to interact with the dolphins.
Priced at £560, the expensive experience offers a lesson in understanding the biology of dolphins and their habitats taught by marine experts and ensures the best quality care for marine life at the resort.
A number of Kimberley’s followers continued to comment on her photo.
“Really disappointed to see you supporting animal cruelty. Animals are not entertainment. That beautiful dolphin should not be in captivity to be exploited,” wrote one fan.
“Don't pose with captive dolphins. Only encourages keeping them in captivity,” said a second.
“This really isn’t something you should be promoting. I really hope all these shocked comments will be a wake-up call to educate yourself X,” another responded.
Animal protection charity PETA has advocated against paying to swim with dolphins as the activity harms their wellbeing, being restricted to small pools and exposed to unsterile human contact.
Executive Vice President of Atlantis Dubai, Tim Kelly, denies any wrongdoing to animals at the resort and has said:
"Atlantis, Dubai is home to a dedicated expert animal care team, who work around the clock to maintain our high animal welfare standards, deliver world-class education programmes to guests and visitors, and support marine conservation."
Kimberley has since returned from her family holiday, posting herself back on work duties, but has not responded to the negative comments she received for the photo.
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