Ontario SPCA Surprise Inspection of Marineland Confirms No Sign of Abuse, Distress, Mistreatment or Neglect of Animals at Marineland Canada

The Ontario SPCA confirmed after a surprise inspection of Marineland Canada on August 16, 2017 that there were no signs of abuse, distress, mistreatment or neglect of any animals in Marineland’s care including: black bears, elk, red deer, fallow deer or guinea hens.

In November 2016 and January 2017, the OSPCA laid a series of questionable charges against Marineland. Those charges were entirely withdrawn by the Crown Attorney who did not believe any of them met the legal threshold to warrant a trial.

Yesterday’s inspection further confirms Marineland’s total innocence to all allegations made by discredited activists and to the recently withdrawn charges laid by the OSPCA that Marineland has categorized as ‘bizarre’.

The OSPCA claimed to Marineland that there is no relationship between their surprise visit and the Crown’s decision. The OSPCA confirmed their surprise inspection was not the result of a complaint made against Marineland. The OSPCA also confirmed full cooperation and full access to the entire park was provided by Marineland Canada.

Despite frequently false allegations made by discredited activists regarding marine mammal care at Marineland, the OSPCA further confirmed there are no signs of abuse, distress, mistreatment or neglect of any marine mammal species. This includes our beluga and walrus populations which are frequently subjected to false allegations spread by activists who fundraise off of their lies about Marineland.

None of the allegations made by activists against Marineland have been verified by any objective review of facts and reality. Marineland has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellent care for all of the animals who call Marineland home.

Marineland welcomes continued inspections by the OSPCA and remains focused on ensuring that we provide the best quality care to our animals while creating a welcoming, educational environment for the guests who visit our park each year.

Marineland Canada Mournfully Reports The Passing Of Our Beloved Beluga Whale Gia

Marineland Canada has received preliminary necropsy results on, Gia, a beluga whale who has called Marineland home since birth.

Gia passed away suddenly at Marineland.  Up until her passing, Gia appeared happy, healthy and a well-adjusted member of her pod.  Gia was taken care of by a dedicated marine mammal care team that have given hours of care to her each day of her life.

Complete necropsy results will be provided when received.

The preliminary necropsy results that followed Gia’s death indicated she had a congenital torsion of her small intestine that caused it to twist and resulted in a full blockage of the intestine, which resulted in Gia’s death.

Gia’s life has been complex.  Her mother stopped nursing her prior to Gia getting a taste for fish.  In the wild, this would have certainly led to her death when it happened, but at Marineland, her dedicated care team segregated her from the other whales and worked with her eighteen hours each day for an extended period of time to develop proper eating habits.

Gia’s marine mammal team were successful and Gia was reintroduced to her pod, gained weight and appeared to be generally healthy and developing.  Her sudden passing came as a great shock to everyone.

In the past two years, Gia was a victim of radical activists who invent animal mistreatment where none exists to raise funds for themselves.  Marineland released a fact based video which was distributed to the Senators on the Fisheries and Oceans Committee at the time the false allegations were made. Please see the video below:

Those who knew her, those who loved her and our guests who saw her know that Gia was a young, happy, friendly and playful member of the Marineland family.  She will be deeply missed by her marine mammal care team and everyone at Marineland.

Crown Withdraws All Charges Laid By the OSPCA Against Marineland

Marineland has been cleared of all charges laid by the OSPCA. The charges were formally withdrawn on Thursday.

In addition to the reputational damage suffered by Marineland as a result of the charges that were withdrawn, Marineland has also suffered five years of baseless accusations by ill-informed, radical activists.

When Marineland responded to the January 2017 charges we said:

“the OSPCA is continuing a publicity campaign at the behest of a band of discredited activists with little relevant expertise or knowledge, in an effort to avoid further embarrassment related to an ongoing investigation into the OSPCA’s perceived failure to protect animals that is being led by the same activists they are now firmly in bed with.”

Marineland stands by that statement.

We also said then:

“Marineland looks forward to the OSPCA laying out their case in court, where facts matter and there is an objective measure of reality that has not been seen in the basis of their charges or the supporting documentation. We will hold the OSPCA to the high standards of Ontario’s legal system and require them to defend their charges to the fullest extent possible.”

The Crown conducted its own independent review of the OSPCA charges and has effectively agreed with Marineland by determining all the charges ought to be withdrawn.

The OSPCA literally prepared the first of these charges on site, after spending a single afternoon executing a search warrant and viewing more than 4,000 animals across more than three hundred acres at our park.

The OSPCA did not remove or isolate any of the 4,000 animals, despite laying multiple charges.

Following the laying of the charges, the OSPCA issued multiple press releases. They then posted that same information to the Internet platforms they actively fundraise from.  They also organized and conducted a news conference to publicize the laying of the charges. Marineland expressly requested to listen in to the press conference and the OSPCA refused that request.

Marineland was unnecessarily made to suffer severe reputational damage at the hands of the OSPCA’s publicity and fundraising machine.

As a matter of practice, Marineland now audio and video records all OSPCA inspections of the park to ensure an accurate record of the inspections and conditions of the animals and the park. Following the laying of the charges, the OSPCA conducted a full two-day inspection, that was audio and video recorded, of the very same animals and enclosures, and found no issues of concern.

With The Bison Appearances Can Be Deceiving

The North American bison is often incorrectly called a buffalo.  While they look similar, the name buffalo belongs properly only to the two main buffalo species that reside in Africa and Asia that being the African Cape buffalo and the Asian water buffalo.

One of the heaviest land mammals on earth, male bison, referred to as bulls, can grow 3 m to 3.7 m (10 or 12 feet) in length and as tall as 1.8 m (6 feet) at the shoulder and weigh up to 1360.5 kg (3,000 lbs.)

Short, black horns stick out from the bison’s massive head.  The hair on the head, neck, shoulders and forelegs is long and shaggy.  The hair on the head can grow up to 30 cm (1 foot) long and forms a beard on the chins of the bulls.

You wouldn’t think it, given its enormous size and clumsy appearance, but the bison is a surprisingly agile and sure-footed creature.  Bison are also very fast and can run up to 55 kilometres per hour (34 miles per hour).

You might also be surprised to learn that bison are amazingly good swimmers.  Being so buoyant, the head, hump and tail stay above the surface of the water.

Bison once roamed the continent in huge numbers before being hunted to near extinction.  Thanks to conservation efforts at reserves and game farms like Marineland their numbers have increased.

What a shame it would have been if the bison had completely disappeared!

Be sure to take time to appreciate and admire the majestic bison on your next visit to Marineland.

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B.Y.O.F. (Bring Your Own Food) OR LET US FEED YOU

Unlike most theme parks, Marineland allows guests to bring their own food and beverages into the park.  But, if you would prefer to avoid the hassle of packing a lunch, you will find plenty of tasty food items to choose from in our on-site, cafeteria-style restaurant, The Hungry Bear.

Hot Dog 62 KB

 

Hamburger 78 KB

Traditional and popular fare like juicy burgers; crispy, golden fries and delicious pizza are on the menu to satisfy your hunger while you spend the day enjoying the park’s attractions.

If you prefer lighter options, try our mouth-watering rotisserie chicken.  We also offer fresh salads and fruits.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with one of our desserts or enjoy an ice cream cone.  We think you will find our soft serve to be the best you’ve ever had!

Ice Cream

Find a full list of our menu items here.

 

Sonja the Walrus Cause of Death Determined

An independent veterinary necropsy has determined that Marineland’s beloved walrus, Sonja, died following the sudden rupture of a very rare abdominal aneurysm.
It appears likely that Sonja was born with this rare condition.

Throughout her life Sonja received regular veterinary checkups and was under veterinary care at the time she passed away.
The nature and location of the aneurysm made it effectively impossible to detect and without any realistic method of treatment following a rupture.

Sadly, major emergency invasive surgery was never an option for Sonja given the nature and location of the aneurysm or its sudden rupture in a walrus weighing almost two thousand pounds.
Word of her death struck the park community hard, both the marine mammal care team and those visitors to Marineland that have enjoyed spending time with and learning from Sonja.

Marineland would like to thank kind members of the public who have expressed their condolences to our marine mammal team and who have sent their best wishes and continued health to all the park’s cherished residents.

Pursuant to the strict new Ontario Marine Mammal Regulations, a full report regarding Sonja’s death is being forwarded to the Marineland Animal Care Committee for its review.

Sonja the Walrus

Sonja the Walrus

Marineland Canada: Demonstrating A Commitment to Walrus Care Since 2001

Last week Marineland lost Sonja, who was the first walrus to relocate to Marineland. We’ve received many emails and Facebook messages from members of the public expressing their condolences for Sonja’s loss and asking questions about walruses at Marineland.

Our marine mammal care team appreciates the expressions of condolences and support from the public during this difficult time for them.

We would like to assure members of the public that Zeus, Apollo, Buttercup and Smooshi continue to thrive, due to the high quality care and enrichment they receive from dedicated members of the marine mammal care team and the veterinary staff that maintain their health.

While we await the results of Sonja’s necropsy, we are paying additional attention to the remaining walruses and continue to be prepared to take early intervention steps, should any of their health situations change.

Marineland has been home to walruses since 2001.

The economic fallout that followed the breakup of the Soviet Union made Russia a very challenging place to find the resources necessary to properly care for the many orphaned walruses rescued. It is believed Marineland’s walruses lost their mothers to poaching prior to being rescued. Many were in poor health when saved from the wild, and sadly continued to be as resource challenged organizations in Russia fought to save their lives.

Each of the walruses to come to Marineland was less than a year old when they arrived. Without human intervention, followed by Marineland’s care and compassion, each of these walruses is likely to have starved in the wild or been poached, just as their mothers likely were. Even with human intervention, the survival rate for orphaned walruses that are rescued is very low, due to the long term health implications this traumatic experience causes, for a range of reasons.

In addition to accepting beluga whales from a former Soviet defense program, Marineland felt a strong desire to help these orphaned walruses experience a better quality of life and has always been prepared to fight hard to save the lives of orphaned animals.

Sonja came to Canada from the renowned Moscow Zoo, a national institution in Russia with a strong international reputation, in 2001.

Sonja was joined by Zeus and Apollo two months after arriving at Marineland. Each came to the park in good health and provided Marineland’s marine mammal care team and veterinary staff with the opportunity to apply practical learning and develop best practices for the care of walruses at Marineland.

In 2002, Pandora, Buttercup and Buddy were brought to Marineland, and unlike Sonja, Zeus and Apollo, they were not in good health when rescued. Buddy was in such poor shape, Buddy’s previous owner surrendered Buddy to Marineland in the hopes that we could rehabilitate the walrus. Out of options in Russia, Marineland was seen as Buddy’s last and best chance for survival. We did everything we could.

Sadly, Buddy was too sick to be saved and after months of extensive efforts by Marineland’s marine mammal care team and our veterinary staff, we were unable to restore Buddy’s health. Pandora survived for nearly six years before passing away.

Marineland’s mammal care team was deeply impacted by Buddy’s passing. Buddy was the first walrus to pass away at Marineland. Mindful of the overwhelming numbers of orphaned walruses in Russia, Marineland brought over Smooshi and Azul in 2004, in an effort to provide a better future for each.

Our team was determined to take the lessons learned from caring for Buddy, during Buddy’s short and difficult life, and aware how much improved Buddy’s quality of life was here, where appropriate food, clean water, daily care and veterinary support was available.

Azul faced similar health challenges that predated being rescued and cared for in Russia, and sadly died within a year of coming to Marineland, after extensive marine mammal care team intervention and veterinary support.

While Azul, Buddy and Pandora experienced difficult health situations directly as a result of poaching rendering them orphans, Marineland’s staff gave each of these walruses the high degree of care, compassion, love and support that the public have come to expect from Marineland.

The lessons our team learned during these extraordinary times have directly contributed to Sonja, Zeus, Apollo, Buttercup and Smooshi thriving in the enriching environment Marineland provides for them. Sonja was the first walrus to pass away at the park in nearly ten years.

Buttercup, Smooshi, Apollo

Buttercup, Smooshi, Apollo

Zeus

Zeus

Smooshi

Smooshi

Apollo

Apollo

Vancouver Aquarium Committed to Rescue and Research – Park Board Decision Threatens To Destroy Conservation Efforts

Marineland supports the Vancouver Aquarium’s commitment to rescue, rehabilitation, and critical research related to the conservation and preservation of all marine mammals.

Vancouver Park Board’s hasty and sudden decision last night without any real debate or examination, under pressure from a tiny minority of vocal activists, condemns to death stranded or injured whales on the Pacific Coast of Canada.

For example, the false killer whale rescued and now alive and thriving at the Vancouver Aquarium would have died if the Vancouver Aquarium could not rescue and house it, the direct consequence of a decision like this. The only alternative to rescue, rehabilitation and long-term care for sick animals that cannot survive in the wild on their own is euthanasia.

This hasty decision, made after a single meeting, and without comprehensive and thorough evaluation of the impact on whale rescue and conservation, reflects the worst consequences of high pressure internet based attacks by a vocal minority of animal rights activists.

The decision will cause unnecessary marine mammal deaths, damage long term conservation efforts and reflects a lack of understanding of the role of science and education in preserving our natural habitat and educating our public.

Marineland will continue to provide a centre for research and a home for rescued animals that cannot be returned to the wild.  Marineland will continue to make decisions based on science and facts in the best interests of all of its animals.

 

 

“No Issues of Concern” at Marineland

Comprehensive inspection by OSPCA further confirms findings of International Marine Mammal Experts – “No issues of Concern” at Marineland

NIAGARA FALLS – ON – Tuesday, February 28, 2017 – Marineland’s Animal Care Committee, in accordance with strict and comprehensive Ontario legislation and regulations recently enacted, conducted a thorough inspection of the marine and land animals at Marineland.

Internationally recognized expert, Dr. Lanny Cornell, conducted a comprehensive examination of all the marine and land animals and found the animals to be healthy, behaving normally, well fed and well taken care of.

Dr. Cornell considered all the issues identified by the OSPCA and issues raised by radical animal rights activists.

His entire report is available online at Marineland’s webpage:  http://www.marinelandblog.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Animal-Care-Report-Dr.-Cornell-Feb-16-2017-Final.pdf and was provided to the OSPCA.

Following that comprehensive review the OSPCA conducted a complete inspection of every animal, the facilities and all records at Marineland on February 21-22, 2017.

The OSPCA acknowledged full cooperation by Marineland, full access to every part of the Park, inspected every animal, reviewed all records, and complete access to all staff members on site.

The OSPCA noted “no issues of concern”, laid no charges and issued no orders.

The animals are healthy, receive appropriate enrichment, are fed a diet of fresh fish fit for human consumption, have access to clean fresh water, and the facilities are clean and well kept.

Pursuant to a lengthy two-year process of legislative review, an independent  expert report, input by a technical advisory group made up of activists and Animal Care experts, and public hearings, The Government of Ontario enacted strict Animal Care guidelines and marine mammal regulations designed to provide high standards of care under public oversight for all marine mammals in Ontario.

Marineland provided input into and complies strictly with those guidelines.

Marineland remains fully committed to the long term health and care of all its animals and providing Canadians with a unique opportunity to view our incredible marine mammal heritage in a family friendly environment.

For over fifty years Marineland has provided millions of Canadian families, many who could not otherwise afford to travel to either coast, an opportunity all Canadians should experience.

Marineland looks forward to another fun and educational year for all the families choosing to visit our Park.

Each year Marineland attracts almost a million visitors to the Niagara Region and remains a critical component of the economy of Ontario.

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For more information:

Marineland
Marketing Department
Email: marketing@marineland.ca
Phone: 905-356-2142