Marineland Canada is in the news again, being attacked by disgruntled former employees again, who are working with a professional activist group that raises just under $2 million dollars per year to share their distorted view of facts about others… again.
We believe the public has a right to know the truth about Marineland, and every reasonable person will understand that truth isn’t going to come from the radical, non-credible, California-based activists at Last Chance for Animals (LCA). In addition to distorting reality about Marineland, LCA appears opposed to household pets, sharing other outlandish ‘facts’ that include, “In six years, one female dog can be the source of 67,000 puppies.”
Last Chance for Animals uses their so-called investigations to raise millions of dollars a year with claims like, “Your donation will keep LCA’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in the field uncovering animal abuse and cruelty.” According to their financial statements, LCA spends more on direct mail fundraisers than they do on ‘Investigations fees and expenses’, which represents less than five cents of every dollar they spend (approximately $91,000 per year of nearly $2 million spent).
The discredited former employee LCA is working with this time has made the impossible claim that each day they worked, they “discovered at least two dead land animals every shift, and often more.” If this were true, Marineland would have no land animals left in very short order. This alone should make the complainant completely unreliable.
He further claimed that Marineland’s land animals are allowed to “breed indiscriminately”, and that the park did not have a handle on when new animals were born or died. Considering animals are segregated for breeding and the park provides appropriate seven days per week care to our land animals, this further demonstrates the lack of credibility this individual has. Besides daily monitoring by Marineland staff, the park is subject to regular and unscheduled OSPCA visits, surprise inspections, CAZA inspections, and several veterinary visits each week.
Yet LCA and animal rights activist/Canadian Press reporter Liam Casey have chosen to give non-credible, agenda-driven characters a megaphone to spread lies about Marineland, so here we are.
After how quickly the OSPCA dismissed their last bizarre round of attacks and untruths about Marineland relating to our marine mammal population, it is no wonder they chose not to issue a press release with these allegations. Marineland is confident again that LCA’s latest agenda-driven complaint against Marineland will be proven false.
Marineland intends to vigorously defend ourselves against these charges laid by the OSPCA, that we believe were driven by activists targeting the OSPCA for failing to find fault in how our park operates when past baseless claims have been made.
Today Marineland is providing detailed information on a number of species that call Marineland home, in an effort to provide interested members of the media and the public the opportunity to access the undistorted truth about our park.
‘Petey’ the Peacock
The disgruntled employee provided a picture to Canadian Press that we cannot verify the accuracy of, particularly due to LCA’s previous use of footage we believe to have been photoshopped, altered and distorted. The complainant “alleges the growth is a severe infection and the bird never received medical attention.” This is a lie and represents a false accusation of criminal animal cruelty. In reality, one of our peacocks had a harmless growth, comparable to a cyst, by the bird’s right eye. It remained healthy overall, continued to eat well and interact with other peacocks at the park.
The OSPCA ordered a vet to examine the bird within two weeks of their visit and for the park to follow the vet’s recommendations. This peacock was recommended to be euthanized, but it was saved when the vet determined later that they would be able to remove the growth.
The full story on Petey the Peacock and images can be found here:
The dismissed employee made a number of claims about bears, and even provided the Canadian Press with a video of a bear defecating, shot from about eighty feet away, claiming “the former employee says the bears suffer from chronic diarrhea.”
They also claimed Marineland feeds bears food stored with carcasses, rotten or mouldy food and occasionally produce stickers.
We’ve prepared a detailed response on these allegations, including the general consistency of their stool (not something we expected to write about, but hey, Canadian Press asked!). We’ve included photos and videos of our bears that demonstrate their health.
Marineland is home to a wide range of marine mammal and land animal species and has recently begun acquiring various bird species as part of expansion plans that will include new exhibits focused on, you guessed it, birds.
While we construct a purpose built facility, Marineland is providing on-site care for these birds in one of the employee-only areas of the park. Of several thousands of birds at Marineland, less than a handful of these birds required any veterinarian attention, which they promptly received.
Reach more about birds at Marineland here:
Elk, Red Deer and Fallow Deer
Marineland is home to nearly one thousand members of the broader deer family including elks, red deer and fallow deer. Marineland being home to these animals allows people who would not get to experience them in the wild learn from them at our park.
We’ve provided a medical update on our herds to address completely bizarre mortality numbers provided to the media by a former employee.
Read more about our elk, red deer and fallow deer here:
Food Preparation and Storage for Bears
Perhaps the most desperate claims made against Marineland involve claims that at our park we feed our bears rotten fish and spoiled produce and dog food that we store with the remains of animals who are no longer with us.
Despite bears being attracted to rotting flesh and garbage in the wild, we do far better by them at Marineland. Our bears have spring water pumped into their enclosure on a constant basis, with this water flushing through their area and into Marineland’s river system. We are proud of the quality of water provided to our animals.
Canadian Press has been given a video that depicts the inside of Marineland’s morgue, a walk-in freezer where animal carcasses are stored until they are buried. This is a best practice that every veterinarian employs when dealing with the remains of household pets as well. The video also shows dog food that is being stored in the same facility for disposal.
For more on what Marineland feeds our bears and our animal burial practices, please click the link below:
Where Marineland’s Animals Go To Rest
Veterinarians offices, human and animal hospitals, zoos, aquaria and marine parks all have an obligation to find ways to safely store remains of those who have passed away in their care until a burial or cremation can be arranged. Unlike humans, unless by special request, animals are typically buried together, when there is a sufficient number to bury to do so. Until that time, these animals, whether at a zoo, aquaria, marine park or your neighbourhood vet’s office, are stored in some form of freezer to prevent decomposition.
Marineland is no different. Our park has a certificate of approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change which allows us to bury the remains of our animals on site.
The freezer Marineland uses for this purpose is larger than it needs to be, and occasionally has been used to store other organic material that needs to be disposed of, and is best kept in a controlled environment like this room provides. It appears the storage of bags of dog food intended to be disposed of (and since removed) has been claimed to be kept in there as bear food.
The same video used to make this allegation shows where our bear food is being prepared and the disgruntled employee in question is only able to spot bulk produce and fish.
A Further Update on Gia — a beautiful four-year-old whale, activists continue to lie about.
Last Chance for Animals has been fundraising off the backs of our beluga whales since October 2013, failing to ever prove a single claim they’ve made. While attempting to damage our reputation by investing in public relations attacks led to a brief media splash in early 2016, an OSPCA investigation did not find any truth to what LCA had said.
This makes sense when you consider the source lives four thousand kilometres from the park and relies on non-experts to diagnose complex species with poor quality images and video we believe they simply distort when reality doesn’t fit the fundraising letter/narrative.
What is most disappointing is how LCA took a compelling story about a whale who would have died in the wild, and is only alive because of the dedication of our marine mammal team, and turned it into a sordid tale that requires a total contempt for the truth to weave together.
We forcefully responded when they did this and are sharing it again, because this week LCA brought up their lies about our whales again in a Toronto Star interview.
Find more on Gia, including images from November 30, 2016 below: