Update: Canada’s Marineland has found itself in hot water, as it’s being charged with five counts of cruelty to animals after a former employee raised concerns about the well-being of some of the animals.
The cruelty charges aimed at the Niagara Falls, Ontario, abusement park contain two separate charges involving a peacock, including one count of allowing the bird to be in distress and one count of failing to comply with prescribed standards of care. In addition, Marineland faces two counts for failing to comply with prescribed standards of care for guinea hens. It’s also been charged with failing to provide the 35 black bears there with adequate and appropriate food and water.
If convicted of the charges, officials with the theme park could face a C$60,000 (US$44,700) fine, a lifetime ban on owning animals, and up to two years in jail.
Originally published August 19, 2016
Whistleblower Reveals Emaciated Walrus at Marineland
New video of an emaciated walrus featured in a show at Marineland in Ontario, Canada, reminds us just how little the abusement park “cares” about animals.
Zeus, a 13-year-old walrus, is seen apparently struggling to move as the outline of his bones shows through his sagging skin. After some comforting nudges from a fellow walrus, Zeus flops to the ground.
Philip Demers, who posted the video on YouTube on Monday, knows just how cruelly Marineland treats the animals it holds captive. Demers told The Dodo that he worked at Marineland for 12 years before an argument over Zeus’ health led to his resignation. He says that the walrus has a chronic regurgitation problem and has seen Zeus collapse numerous times. Regurgitation is a common neurotic behavior among captive wild animals and has been observed in other walruses in marine parks.
Demers has documented Zeus’ living conditions in the past. This video from 2014 shows Zeus with no choice but to lie in his own waste inside a cramped cage. According to Demers, Zeus was forced to spend entire days all alone inside the waterless pen.
Zeus is only one of the numerous pinnipeds suffering every day at Marineland. In 2012, Demers and seven other former trainers came forward to report numerous instances of neglect and abuse, including serious damage to animals’ skin and eyes because of filthy, contaminated water. An investigation conducted by the Toronto Star detailed reports of widespread negligence, cruelty, and mass animal graves.
PETA has been campaigning against Marineland for years, citing the park’s abysmal conditions and the high mortality rate among young whales and dolphins. The park also has a long history of obtaining wild-caught beluga whales, dolphins, and orcas. Given Zeus’ miserable condition, it seems like not much has changed.
We Can Help
Refuse to patronize any marine park that profits from captive wildlife. Also, please voice your objections about the lack of adequate captive-animal protection laws in Ontario to Premier Kathleen Wynne:
The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1