Canada: 14 whales have died at aquarium since 2019, exposé reveals

Fourteen whales and a dolphin have died since 2019 at a preferred Canadian aquarium and theme park, in response to a brand new exposé by the Canadian Press.

Of the marine animals which have died, 13 had been belugas and one was Kiska – the world’s loneliest orca, who died of a bacterial an infection after 4 a long time in captivity, the final 12 of which had been in isolation.

The reason for dying of the opposite 14 animals stays unclear.

Since January 2020, Ontario’s provincial animal welfare companies has inspected Marineland 160 instances. In 2021, it stated all of Marineland’s marine animals had been in misery due to the standard of the water and ordered the park to make enhancements.

Canadian Press printed its revelations on Thursday after receiving paperwork via entry to info requests. A journalist, Liam Casey, stated this story received him banned from Marineland.

The story that received me banned from Marineland:

14 whales and one dolphin have died at Marineland since 2019. Most of these deaths occurred over a two-year timeframe. It’s nonetheless unclear why they died. I’ll hold digging.

— Liam Casey (@liamdevlincasey) August 24, 2023

Marineland, which opened in 1961, can also be dwelling to land animals together with bears, bison, elk and deer, in response to its web site.

Earlier this yr, the province charged Marineland over failing to offer satisfactory enclosures and water entry to its three black bears.

Animal welfare activists have lengthy accused the park of cruelty and abuse for protecting animals in unfit tanks and enclosures. Most of the sea animals at Marineland are educated to carry out methods in trade for fish.

The previous Marineland worker and whistleblower Phil Demers spent a decade making an attempt to free Smooshi, a walrus he had beforehand educated and had since plotted to steal due to considerations over her well being and security.

This previous spring, Smooshi and her calf Koyuk had been relocated to SeaWorld in Abu Dhabi.

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I can’t wait until Smooshi & Koyuk are removed from MarineLand. For the first time in their lives, mother and son walruses will get to live together. MarineLand separated them at birth, and that’s torture to them. That’s the big win. Smooshi can finally be a happy walrus. Me too.

— Phil Demers (@walruswhisperer) December 8, 2022

Marineland has steadfastly denied any mistreatment. “We have a strong record of providing for the welfare of our animals and will continue to prioritize their health and wellbeing as a central focus of our mission,” reads a website post signed by Marie Holer, who took over the park after her husband and Marineland’s founder died in 2018.

Reports in January showed Marineland is looking for a new buyer to help it “evolve, develop and grow”.

Wayne Gates, a member of provincial parliament in Niagara Falls, told the Canadian Press the time has come to repurpose Marineland.

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