Animal rights advocates have set their sights on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson over a few lighthearted family snapshots, taken during a tour of the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Critics accused him of supporting animal captivity, suggesting that he should go out on a glass-bottomed boat and view the animals in the wild.
The first photo showed Johnson’s family standing in front of a large viewing tank, observing the whale sharks.
Such a great time with our ohana & friends at the famed Georgia Aquarium. The second largest aquarium in the world and the only institution outside of Asia that houses Whale Sharks. More than 100,000 animals and sea creatures here that I’m in constant awe of. Specifically, this Whale Shark that I’m contemplating jumping in the tank and jumping on its back. They call me the brown AquaMan. Thank you to President & COO, Joseph Handy & the entire Georgia Aquarium staff for being so gracious, kind & informative to my family and our friends. We had a blast! #GeorgiaAquarium #OhanaDay @hhgarcia41
Comments ranged from polite criticisms to expletive-laced rants about “animal cruelty” on display.
- “These places teach kids that its ok to get animals from where ever and put them in a container.”
- “This is just SO Disgusting! Those poor animals.”
- “… a whale that was ripped from her family put in a tank and forced to perform humiliating tricks for food …”
- “who the hell puts whale sharks in captivity?”
- “Sad to see you endorsing an aquarium… Did not expect that!! Happy to see so many others are just as horrified as me.”
- “You shouldn’t support keeping the largest fish on earth in captivity. Yes, Whale Sharks are amazing – but imprisoning these giants, which swim thousands of miles in the wild is beyond cruel.”
- “Yay! Well done to the Rock for condoning marine life in captivity ! Go you, you must be so proud to see such majestic creatures locked up for life.”
The second post showed Johnson getting up close and personal with a beluga.
And in the third snap, Johnson had a chat with a sea lion — who was apparently unimpressed with his fame.
As the negative comments poured in, a number of fans also rallied to Johnson’s defense, noting that some of the marine life at the Georgia Aquarium had been rescued following injury, and that the staff there worked hard to rehabilitate the animals and study them so that they can better conserve marine life in the future.
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