Another Captive Whale Dead—This One at 5 Years Old

Published by Michelle Reynolds.

Gia, a beluga whale born into captivity at Marineland Canada in Niagara Falls, Ontario, died suddenly from an apparent intestinal blockage, according to preliminary necropsy reports. She was barely 5 years old. More than 40 whales have died at this marine animal prison.

When our friends at Last Chance for Animals spent five months conducting an eyewitness investigation of Marineland, they found abhorrent conditions and outright abuse of animals horrifyingly similar to what PETA has documented at other marine-mammal abusement parks. The group discovered the following:

  • Gia was separated from her mother by accident and left in an isolation pool for three months, where she became so emaciated that her ribs were clearly visible.
  • The park had more than 100 barrels of industrial-strength bleach on site, and staff would often report that when they stood next to the pools, their eyes would burn.
  • Beluga whales showed signs of eye problems, including redness, irritation, and cataracts, as well as other medical issues, such as red, raw throats.
  • Staff routinely deprived animals of food for training purposes.
  • Whales didn’t have protection from the sun or adequate barriers to prevent unsupervised contact with visitors, making it possible for people to drop foreign objects—whether accidentally or deliberately—into the enclosures.

Marineland displays one lone orca—Kiska—beluga whales, dolphins, sea lions, and walruses in cramped tanks. It has imported beluga whales and dolphins who were taken from their ocean homes and also keeps bears, deer, bison, and elk confined to cages that are surrounded by noisy roller coasters and other rides.

A 2012 exposé revealed mass animal graves at Marineland that, according to a former park employee, contained the bodies of more than 1,000 orcas, dolphins, seals, walruses, bears, bison, deer, and other animals.

Compassionate people the world over now recognize that sentient animals don’t belong locked up, period—least of all inside tiny tanks at marine parks. Please share this post and urge everyone you know to refuse to patronize Marineland, SeaWorld, the Miami Seaquarium, and any other place that profits from sentient living beings.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind