Guinea Fowl and other Avians

Many people are surprised to learn that Marineland contains both marine and land animals, but that has been true since the very beginning of the park. Plans have been underway to bring in a third element, with the introduction of avian or bird species. While these plans are not yet ready for the public, the animals are subject to examination by the OSPCA and are provided care through veterinary services.

During their recent visit, the OSPCA inspectors entered a guinea fowl pen. Guinea Hens, like any wild bird, did not respond well to the sudden entrance into their enclosure of four OSPCA staff, of which just one was a trained veterinarian. The OSPCA expressed their desire that more space be given to the Hens. Marineland has provided an additional area for the Guinea Hens to shelter.

Upon later inspection by the veterinarian Marineland brought in to ensure the park followed the OSPCA orders, one guinea hen was culled due to lameness, while the rest of the grasps, comprising roughly 175 fowl, are normal and healthy.

Among the other birds at Marineland, two turkeys of the flock of 80 were culled due to dyspnea [laboured breathing] after exertion, and no problems were found among the approximately 2,500 pheasants housed in four separate outdoor pens with shelters.

Together with the report on Petey the Peacock, there were no other findings related to the various avian species at Marineland. Among the several thousands of birds, only these isolated few have required veterinary attention. Marineland continues to provide quality care to all its marine, land, and avian animals.

The OSPCA failed to return to Marineland to determine whether their orders had been implemented before choosing to lay charges.

 

Red Deer, American Elk, and Fallow Deer

Red Deer 3The benefit of relying on veterinarians instead of amateur video collected by individuals with axes to grind and an agenda to promote is we have the facts.

Do animals die at Marineland? Sadly yes. Is it because of neglect, cruelty or inhumane treatment? Never. Here is some information on the bulk of our land animal groups at Marineland.

Marineland has a herd of approximately 200 Red Deer. Three deer were culled as part of the normal and humane process that we are all familiar with, when a family pet reaches a stage of health or age that leads us to the sad but necessary conclusion that putting our friend to sleep is in its best interests.  That is not abuse it is mercy and an act of kindness.

We also have a herd of approximately 40 American Elk. No problems are reported with this herd, and all have acceptable body condition according to veterinary examination. They are neither underweight nor overweight, as either condition would negatively affect their health. In addition, we have a herd of approximately 400 fallow deer, and again no problems are reported with this herd.

Of the nearly 650 elk and deer at Marineland, a total of three had medical conditions and had to be culled from the herd. These species often live for 20 years, so it is only natural at any time for a few individuals to be of an advanced age. As well, mild injuries often take place during mating season. 

Part of the goal of parks like Marineland is to bring urban dwellers into contact with these animals so they can learn and understand them better. That way, they will see the natural life cycle of these animals, from birth through adult life, their reproductive customs, seasonal variations and actions, and eventual old age. They will see how they naturally interact as much as possible.

Minor injuries will normally take place within a herd of deer. When these injuries or other conditions result in distress to the animal, we provide the required medical care to relieve distress with the goal of returning the animal back to the herd. 

Food Preparation at Marineland For Bears

Black bears at Marineland, November 29, 2016

Black bears at Marineland, November 29, 2016

Despite allegations that Marineland stores food in our land animal morgue, in reality this is completely untrue. The Canadian Press has footage that shows none of the dog food in the food preparation area, and none of the actual food fed to bears in the land animal morgue.

We feed our bears a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and fish. We are able to secure human grade produce for our bears, that is past its best before date, but not expired — and our team manually sorts through this food, removing any pieces that appear mouldy, discoloured or otherwise unfit for bears. The fish is sourced from the marine mammal kitchen on the other side of the park and brought over in buckets, just prior to the bears being fed so it can be prepared with the rest of their daily meal.

The produce in the images is awaiting preparation. Like every food pantry or refrigerator, the produce is in its original packaging from the food supply service. The next stage will require employees to trim, cull, select, and prepare the produce for the bears, then mix and portion the food servings to ensure they receive a balanced diet. Any inedible, spoiled, or otherwise unacceptable elements would be removed for disposal at this point.

As for the final disposition of the diet we serve at Marineland, the complainant claimed the majority of our bears suffer from chronic diarrhea, something that is absolutely false. There are no bears at Marineland suffering from unaddressed diarrhea, and to suggest spring water and human grade fish and produce are causing gastro issues for animals known to be attracted to rotting flesh and garbage in the wild is preposterous. As with all the other claims by Last Chance for Animals, this scatological allegation is not worth further consideration.

 

Anti-Marineland Activists Playing Veterinarian With Video – Again

Marineland, Niagara Falls – Why would animal rights activists sit on footage of an animal they believed to be suffering for 103 days before releasing it? Today, August 31, 2016 anti-Marineland protesters released a video filmed of a deer on May 21, 2016 titled ‘Injured deer at Marineland Canada’ with the following sensational description “Marineland Canada is under intense scrutiny for their treatment of whales and dolphins, but this neglect extends well beyond marine mammals.”

In reality, anti-Marineland activists have filmed a scenario common to all land based mammals who set foot or hoof in an environment where pebbles lurk. The deer in question had a pebble caught in his hoof, similar to when a beachgoer has a pebble in their shoe. This is an experience that no one, not even a deer, would enjoy. At Marineland, our staff respond to situations like these by approaching the animal and removing the pebble from their hoof – a service not offered to deer in the wild.

The catastrophized medical diagnoses offered by individuals relying on poor quality footage shot on cellphone cameras is once again wrong. Despite the ill-informed prophecies of individuals who lack any formal veterinary training, once again selective footage of one reality has been presented as something completely different.

In the real world where Marineland’s mammals live and continue to thrive, our animal care team diligently provide unparalleled levels of care for the mammals who live at our park. We embrace the frequent visits from the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) and continue to follow best practices of animal care, despite the ill-informed opinions of non-experts who exclusively rely on amateur videos to feed their need to find something to fault at Marineland.

Marineland Canada is the most regulated and inspected facility of its kind and offers a fun -filled destination for families and friends, while also providing an opportunity to interact with a variety of species that most in the Great Lakes region would otherwise be unable to see. Our park continues to remain committed to providing high quality care to all animals who call Marineland home and continues to rely on formally educated and qualified veterinary experts who have real time interaction with our animals to do so.

We welcome inquiries from media on this latest false claim from anti-Marineland activists and others where a reality check is needed and will be happy to work with any government sanctioned regulator or investigator who is interested in knowing more about our land based mammal care practices.

 

Dragon Mountain® Roller Coaster – The Ride

Your ride on Dragon Mountain roller coaster begins with a walk through a massive dragon’s open mouth, down into a mysterious, cavernous loading station. From the edge of the platform, you will step into one of the seven-car, 28 passenger coaster trains. You are secured in place with a padded overhead shoulder bar.

DragonMountain-clr

Leaving the station, the train descends deeper underground and enters a 14-foot diameter tunnel. Coming out into daylight as it starts its 386 foot climb to the top of the huge lift at a 27 degree angle, it reaches the crest of the mountain veers left and screams down the first hill at 47 degrees and back up into the double vertical loops.

Dragon Mountain

Coming out of the second loop, you arc to the right, then fly into the first of two horizontal spirals as they work their way deeper into the bowels of the earth. A 92-foot diameter spiral is centered just above the 104-foot spiral forming an inverted cone. You roar into the daylight and bank around a broad horseshoe curve before plunging again into a tunnel (1,163 feet of tunnels in total – more than any other coaster in the world) and then disappearing into the mountain wall.

As you leave the tunnel, you are suddenly hurled into the final white-knuckle thrill – the bowtie – two staggered loops which will turn you upside down twice within seconds.

A fitting climax to a fantastic ride! Ready to ride it again?

FACT SHEET

Dragon Mountain is a world-class roller coaster, at Marineland, Niagara Falls, Canada.

* One of the longest non-stop coaster rides in the world.

* Maximum speed of the ride is up to 50 miles per hour.

* At 5,500 feet, one of the longest steel coaster rides ever built.

* Features more tunnels – 1,163 feet – than any other
coaster in the world.

* Spread over 30 acres of land – largest ever.

* One of the highest in North America – 186 feet high.

* Thrilling speed perception first coaster ever to hug the contours
of a man-made mountain.

* Lift length and angle – 386 feet at 27 degrees.

* 86 foot loops.

* Diameters of double spirals are 92 feet and 104 feet.

* 48” height requirement

Marineland’s water system provides suitable environment for all marine mammals


Marineland ensures that its marine mammals are well taken care of and healthy. Over many years, we have made significant financial investments to develop and maintain a sufficient water management system to provide an appropriate environment for all marine mammals under our care.

A water treatment analysis report conducted by Stantec, an independent company, was released in 2013. It reveals that Marineland maintains best practices and conducts on-going research for development. Based on the assessment, it was found that the systems are suitable for maintaining water quality parameters for the species and number of marine mammals under human care. This assessment coupled with further research of relevant literature shows that Marineland’s systems meet modern standards of performance requirements.

If you wish to read the entire report conducted by Stantec, please visit: https://www.marineland.ca/admin/data//file/StantecReport.pdf

Marine Mammal Enrichment

Enriching the lives of our marine mammals is an integral part of animal care at Marineland and is as important as the nutrition and medical care that they receive. The act of providing stimulating and challenging environments, toys and activities for the animals is called enrichment. The benefits to the animals are many and include, but are not limited to, mental stimulation, physical activity and promotion of the animal’s natural behaviours like exploring, foraging and diving.

Ice Toy 1Ice Toy 3Ice Toy 2Generally, we divide enrichment into two main types: Environmental Enrichment Devices (EED) like toys, balls and brushes and Environmental Enrichment Activities (EEA) like giving a whale a full body water massage with a sprayer hose or playing peek-a-boo at the underwater glass. Who knew aluminum foil could be used like this!

Peek-A-Boo 1Smooshi PeekingSonja & Joce 2Sonja & Joce 1Sometimes, enrichment can actually be both a device and an activity – such as using a long-handled brush (a device) to rub the pectoral fins of a whale (an activity). Even feeding, training or husbandry procedures are viewed as enrichment activities and are treated in that manner so that we can make such activities exciting and stimulating for the animal.

Within each species there are wide ranges of individual preferences on what an animal enjoys, just like humans. Our caregivers devote a great deal of time and effort to get to know individual animals’ preferences in order to create activities and design devices that will engage and enthrall an animal.

When deciding if an EEA or EED is acceptable to use, the safety of the animal is paramount. In the case of EEDs several criteria need to be considered. Does the object have any rough edges? Is it sturdy enough to withstand salt, cold temperatures or the pounding from a 4,500 kg animal? Is it made of safe material? All of these questions and more are taken into account by our marine mammal care team. Marineland has an enrichment craftsman in our carpenter shop who can work with our marine mammal care team to design and build various EEDs as in some cases a suitable device just can’t be found at a store.

Enhancing the lives of the animals in our care is our top priority and enrichment plays a key role in helping us achieve that goal.

What’s On The Menu?

Well, anything from herring to hay. Marineland provides wholesome, nutritious and palatable foods to all of our animals under the expert direction of our veterinary staff.

All of our marine mammals are fed restaurant quality herring, capelin and squid. In fact, you could take some home, cook it up and have it for dinner.

fishOur black bears receive a balanced diet of fish, fresh fruits, meats and vegetables. Yum!

Our deer, bison and elk dine only on hay that is of top quality. How much hay? Would you believe 110 bales per day?

For members of our deer family, hay is fed in conjunction with grains such as oats, corn and barley.

 

DIGITAL JOURNAL STATEMENT OF RETRACTION – MARINELAND OF CANADA – KISKA

Marineland is pleased to announce that the Digital Journal has today formally retracted the article it published on July 28, 2014 regarding the health and care of Kiska, Marineland’s killer whale.  The complete text of the retraction appears below:

Digital Journal published an on-line article on July 28, 2014 by Elizabeth Batt, “Killer whale at Marineland appears to be ailing” in which Ms. Batt reported allegations about Kiska, the Killer Whale. Upon further review of the allegations contained in the Article, Digital Journal retracts the Article in its entirety.

The article failed to reference a number of publicly available, independent investigations into Kiska’s health. Specifically, the article failed to mention that Kiska’s health and care has been thoroughly reviewed with the full zoo inspection team of the OSPCA, and experts from CAZA, and that no issues of concern with Kiska’s health were noted. The zoo inspection team of the OSPCA has since inspected Kiska following the allegations in the article as recently as October of this year, and again found no issues of concern with Kiska’s health. Marineland has subsequently communicated to Digital Journal that: (i) Kiska is healthy and well cared for at Marineland, (ii) Kiska lives in the largest pool housing a Killer Whale in the world, (iii) all of the water in Kiska’s pool is filtered and exchanged every three hours through an advanced computerized water filtration system, and (iv) that the water system has been independently reviewed and approved by Stantec, recognized experts in water filtration systems.

Marineland has further communicated to Digital Journal that: (i) Kiska’s health is monitored daily by experienced staff and professionals and that she receives excellent medical care from highly qualified and experienced veterinarians, including expert medical consultants, (ii) Kiska receives a healthy diet of high quality fish and her appetite is healthy, as is her weight, and (iii) Kiska’s teeth are in good condition for her advanced age and she receives a preventative “rinse” daily.

Digital Journal prides itself on its high standards of journalism and regrets that they were not met in this isolated case. Digital Journal apologizes unreservedly to Marineland.

 

OSPCA INSPECTION OF MARINELAND – OCTOBER 10, 2014

NIAGARA FALLS – ON – WEDNESDAY, October 15, 2014 – On Friday, October 10, 2014 Marineland welcomed the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Zoo Inspection team for another of its regular and thorough inspections of all of our land animals, marine mammals and facilities.  We are pleased to report that no issues of concern were identified and the inspection was successful.

The inspection was part of the strict, new regulatory system established by the Government of Ontario.  The inspections process was established by the government last year following broad consultation with the public, including animal rights advocates and members of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA-AZAC).

These inspections are important, not just because they proactively check on the health and welfare of the animals, but also because they provide the public with the confidence they rightfully demand that the animals they love are well cared for.

Marineland remains committed to the continuing health and welfare of all the incredible animals at Marineland.