Eight trainers at Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, have handed in their resignations and are speaking out to the Toronto Star about the cruel and abusive conditions at the marine animal prison, which PETA has been after for years.
Because they were made to sign nondisclosure agreements about what goes on behind the scenes at the park, many of the trainers asked not to be identified by name. But former trainer Phil Demers, who quit the park after 12 years, gave a daring on-camera interview describing the abuse he witnessed:
(Video courtesy of thestar.com)
PETA has had our sights on Marineland for some time, writing letters to Canadian officials and asking them to take action to improve conditions at the park.
Now, Marineland owner John Holer’s own trainers are accusing the park of cruelty to animals, including the following:
- Because of insufficient staff, a sick walrus named Zeus often lies unattended in his own excrement.
- The park’s highly social lone orca, Kiska, has had no contact with any other orcas since another orca on loan for breeding was shipped back to SeaWorld, and four others have died prematurely at the park since 2004 alone.
- A sea lion named Baker circles in mindless laps, rubbing against the side of the tank to scratch his itchy, irritated skin, which is missing patches of fur because of the bacteria- and chemical-laden water. He also lost his left eye lens as a result of severe irritation caused by the water.
- Many of the animals keep their red, swollen eyes squeezed shut against the damaging effects of the filthy water.
- Five dolphins had their skin fall off in chunks after they spent months swimming in water so green they could barely be seen in it.
- Six of the park’s seven seals are blind, have impaired vision, or have other serious eye problems because of the unsanitary water.
When questioned about the insufficient staff, dirty water, and untimely death of a baby beluga, Marineland owner John Holer offered this chilling answer: “[F]or people and all living things, there is a time to live and a time to die.”
Perhaps his cavalier attitude explains the more than 40 whale and dolphin deaths at Marineland since the park’s inception. The park, along with fellow marine animal prison SeaWorld, earned a spot on PETA’s list of deadly destinations, a register of places that anyone who cares about animals should avoid like the plague.
Please voice your objections about the lack of adequate laws to protect captive animals to Premier Dalton McGuinty:
The Honourable Dalton McGuinty
Premier of Ontario
Rm. 281, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A4