What’s Really Going On At Marineland Canada

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:
http://www.marinelandblog.ca/a-peacock-tale-s…arineland-animal/


Bears

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.

http://www.marinelandblog.ca/edible-stickers-…constitute-abuse/ ‎


Guinea Fowl

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:
http://www.marinelandblog.ca/guinea-fowl-and-other-avians/ ‎

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:
http://www.marinelandblog.ca/red-deer-america…-and-fallow-deer/

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:
http://www.marinelandblog.ca/food-preparation…neland-for-bears/

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:
http://www.marinelandblog.ca/gia-and-the-lca/

 

Gia and the LCA

Gia the beluga whale, at Marineland November 29, 2016

Gia the beluga whale, at Marineland November 29, 2016

Marineland has been the target of other false and misinformed attacks from the radical animal activist group, Last Chance for Animals since 2013. In January of 2016, they issued one such assault that included a claim about Gia, one of the beluga whales in our care.

According to LCA, “Gia, a juvenile beluga who was initially separated from her mother by accident, was left in a shallow isolation pool for three months while she became emaciated”. This certainly sounds like a terrible situation, except this view from Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles is very different from the one in our park. Something got distorted over those 4,000 kilometres.

This allegation and others by LCA sparked an investigation by the OSPCA, who were rightfully worried about reports that a beluga would be purposely left isolated and starved. Except, like all claims coming from LCA regarding Marineland, the truth ended up being remarkably different.

According to the veterinary and park staff who care for Gia and her mother daily, when Gia was two and a half years old she was not at the same weight as the rest of the belugas of the same age. She was still being fed by her mother, but her mother was pregnant and due that summer. Gia would eat some fish that was provided to her, but not enough.

Staff grew concerned at her lack of growth and took steps to correct the issue. At first, they tried supplementing her fish with oils, but it wasn’t giving them the results they wanted. The decision was made to place her in our Friendship Cove to receive more intensive treatment and where she could be monitored frequently. Gia soon began increasing her diet. It was a gradual gain, but she soon gained enough weight to be safely reintroduced to the main pod.

When all this had been explained and proven to the satisfaction of OSPCA investigators, no charges were laid. In fact, no changes in care or procedures were even requested, because there simply was no truth to the LCA allegations. Once again, they were merely trumped up complaints meant to discredit and defame Marineland.

Last Chance for Animals brought up their lies about Gia again this week to defend their latest round of fundraising/complaints against Marineland and we felt that once again, we’d respond to their falsehoods.

 

They’re Born This Way – Adaptations for an Aquatic Environment

Beluga whales often swim in shallow waters at depths that barely cover their bodies. In general they are not thought of as deep diving marine mammals, but they are capable of making deep dives and staying under water for as long as 15 minutes. Why are they able to do that?

Nahanni

Like other marine mammals, beluga whales possess a number of physiological adaptations that we humans do not have that allow them to dive to deep depths and stay under water for longer periods of time than we can.

During dives beluga whales have a slower heart rate. Also, while diving, blood is shunted away from tissues in their bodies that can tolerate low levels of oxygen towards the heart, lungs and brain where more oxygen is needed. Beluga whales possess more oxygen in their blood than most other animals. And, last, but not least, the muscle of belugas has a high content of an oxygen-binding protein called myoglobin. This protein stores oxygen and prevents muscle oxygen deficiency.

All of these adaptations enable the beluga whale to conserve oxygen while under water and do something we humans can only do through artificial means.

Check Out This Video About Marineland’s Beluga Whales!

The marine mammal caregivers at Marineland know the animals well. For example, one caregiver, Tali, has worked with a beluga whale for seven years. “To see him going from this younger animal, who was just learning to do things, to this animal who has a huge behavioral repertoire, is really fascinating” said Tali.

The video shows our caregivers and belugas during one of their husbandry training sessions. The husbandry behaviours taught to our marine mammals include presenting their fins or mouth for inspection. Learning and practising these behaviours make the animal more comfortable when it’s time for our veterinarians to examine them or carry out a necessary medical procedure.

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

Marineland is the most thoroughly inspected facility of its kind in the world


Over the last two years, Marineland has been the most thoroughly inspected facility of its kind in the world. The conclusion of all of these inspections – all of them – is that the marine mammals at Marineland are well taken care of and healthy, the facilities are excellent and there is no evidence of animal abuse.

These inspections included a complete independent review by two expert veterinarians on behalf of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) and multiple unannounced and scheduled inspections by the OSPCA Zoo Inspection team.

The care and treatment of marine mammals is a topic which attracts emotional responses – which Marineland understands. However, often times these emotional responses are not based on factual evidence. Marineland’s care and treatment of marine mammals is based on factual evidence and advice of scientific experts and veterinarians.

We are guided by these experts regarding the health and psychological well-being of our marine mammals. With confidence, we know that Marineland’s marine mammals are healthy and well treated.

Beluga touching moment McDonald

Cet-a-what now?

When it comes to Marineland’s marine mammals, it’s important to get them in the right order. For our whales and dolphins, that order is Cetacea.

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The Friendly White Whales

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What makes a beluga so beguiling? Playful, acrobatic, and intelligent, they’re one of Marineland’s most popular sights. Here’s a few facts you might not know about them.

When they’re born, they can be grey or even brown in colour. They gradually start to turn that famous ghostly white around the age of eight when they are more mature. While most whales have fused neck vertebrae, the beluga has a flexible neck so it can nod and turn its head.

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Beluga whales are common in the coastal waters of the Arctic Ocean, but pods will migrate south as the seas freeze. They’re one of the most common mammals in Canadian waters but their species is threatened, just like their nearest relative, the single-tusked narwhal.

As for the name, it comes from the Russian word for “white”. Whether you’re watching from above ground or in our underwater viewing area, Marineland lets you appreciate this white whale in person.

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The Magic of Marineland’s Arctic Cove™

Do you know what makes Arctic Cove special? There’s something there we see every day, and it’s the most incredible, the most amazing, the most enjoyable sight you may ever see.

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Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! What better way to celebrate than to come to Niagara Falls and have a family picnic at Marineland. We’re all about family and that’s why we’re one of the few theme parks where you can bring in your own food and beverages!

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