OSPCA Lays Strangest Charges Yet Against Marineland Canada

ElkPhoto-January9-2017Marineland Canada is responding to news reports of additional charges being laid against the park by the OSPCA related to alleged failures to respond to the standard of animal care and permitting an animal to be in distress related to a Fallow Deer, a Red Deer and an Elk.

These charges stem from an inspection on November 10, 2016, sixty-one days ago.

The OSPCA charges fail to identify a specific animal they believe to be in distress or not receiving an appropriate level of care sixty-one days ago at our park, and failed to identify a specific animal in their charges today.

Once again the OSPCA has opted to publicly announce charges and this time even undertook a press conference with the Deputy Chief Inspector of the OSPCA Jennifer Bluhm answering questions for the media. A representative of Marineland contacted Melissa Kosowan of the OSPCA to seek our participation by phone or web link in their press conference to allow us to hear the information they were sharing with the media, but had not shared with us. This request was refused, with Marineland being told this was not possible.

We believe 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 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.

A scan of the charges can be viewed here.

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/

 

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. 

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.

 

Why Do the Deer Antlers Look Different in Spring and Fall?

If you picture a male deer, chances are you imagine a pair of bony antlers. If you were to come across a male deer in late fall, that’s exactly what you’d see – majestic racks of antlers. Deer antlers are made of bone, unlike the horns of animals like goats and sheep which are made of hair-like tissue that continually grows in layers over a bony center.

If you visit Marineland in the spring or early summer, you may see our deer with a beautiful fuzzy coating over their growing antlers. The growing antler is covered by skin with numerous blood vessels called velvet. This velvet gives them that fuzzy look. As spring turns to summer, these growing antlers turn from a soft, spongy feel to hard bone.

So what happens in between? In early August the bone antler stops growing and the blood flow is cut off to the velvet coating. This causes the velvet to dry and start to fall off in patches, eventually revealing the pure bone antler beneath. It can look strange, and guests are not allowed to walk among the deer once this process starts, but it’s a perfectly natural and pain-free transition for the animal.

In the winter, after breeding season is over, deer lose their antlers completely. A number of factors regulate when deer shed their antlers, and they don’t always lose both at the same time. If you plan a visit to Marineland at different times through the season, take a look at the deer to see this amazing natural phenomenon in action.

Video of Whitetail Buck Shedding Antler Velvet

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.

 

Our Four Legged Friends

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve seen at Marineland? Everyone knows us for our marine mammals and our great amusement rides, but many are surprised to encounter some of our four legged friends as well.

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Visit One of Ontario’s Favourite Destinations

Waking up to another beautiful day in Niagara Falls! The whales and the dolphins have had their breakfasts! So have the walruses and the sea lions. Everybody here is ready for you to drop by for the day to one of Ontario’s favourite destinations. Our new show is fabulous!

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