Canada’s most popular marine park, MarineLand, is in hot water after being caught mistreating their animals.
This is not the first time the attraction has been in trouble for animal abuse, however in this instance the focus is on the treatment of birds and bears.
The park is home to many animals; including 50 beluga whales, an orca, dolphins, walruses, sea lions and seals.
Ex-marine animal trainer at Marineland – Phil Demers – has revealed all about the squaller conditions the animals are kept in, claiming that just like SeaWorld, the marine animals are kept in tiny tanks and forced to perform to crowds multiple times a day.
Earlier this year the park planned to unveil a new bird exhibit, however it’s this up-coming attraction that had lead to the investigation.
Demers explained: “Marineland is hoarding them [birds] offsite until they build the exhibit. They’ve had the birds for a while.”
“I can only imagine what conditions they’re subjected to,” he said.
On Friday, November 25, the Ontario SPCA (OSPCA) charged Marineland with five counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act for the mistreatment of some of it’s land animals, following a recent investigation into the facility.
One count was for leaving a peacock “in distress” and another for not giving the same peacock adequate care.
Another two counts were for failing to comply with the standards of care for the guinea fowls. While the investigation is on-going, the OSPCA can not provide any more details, however Demers had revealed more about the parks downfalls.
The park was also charged with not providing appropriate food and water for the American black bears.
“In 2012 we complained that bears were eating cubs over the winter. Marineland was ordered to fix the enclosure and put the bears on birth control. They now have 35. Something’s amiss,” Demers said.
The OSPCA have reported that there are other charges that are pending, but could not comment further.
The organisation have no power to take the animals out of the marine park, but have promised the public they will continue to ensure the animals are getting the care they need while the investigation continues.
“Reports of animal cruelty are taken very seriously,” Steve Toy, a senior inspector with the OSPCA, said. “When we receive reports of cruelty that involve wildlife or exotic animals, we will utilize our experts as well as industry experts to assist us with our investigation.”
“As former employees of Marineland, these charges are music to our ears,” Demers said. “Despite their efforts to do harm to those of us who speak out against their cruel practices, those of us who haven’t given up feel vindicated. Facts are facts, and the truth will prevail.”
Earlier this year, Marineland was underwire for a string of welfare accusations after a video showed 13-year-old Walrus’, Zeus, struggling to drag his underweight body across during a show.
Many members of the audience thought Zeus was in a terrible condition and Dermer claims Zeus used to collapse before shows and had a chronic regurgitation illness – that was also visible in the Walruses at SeaWorld.
To help save all of the precious animals that are potentially living in terrible conditions at Marineland, you can sign this petition.