Marineland opened theirs doors for the season this past Saturday. Visitors to the aquarium were met by peaceful demonstrators (myself included), trying desperately to get the message across to the public that keeping animals in captivity like this, is just wrong. Many of my blog readers are parents of young children and I please ask that you take a moment to read on, keep an open mind and choose to spend your money on family activities this summer that do not contribute to animal suffering.
Why is Marineland so bad? Short and simple, living in captivity is killing them. Taking whales and dolphins out of the oceans to live in a concrete tank is the equivalent to making a human live his or her life in a room the size of a bathtub. Marineland of Canada "holds five bottlenose dolphins, three orcas and 30 belugas trained to perform tricks for spectators. Since it opened, there have been at least 35 deaths, including 10 orcas and 23 dolphins" (from the World Society for the Protection of Animals). 35 deaths! That is so unbelievably sad to me.
The methods used to capture dolphins and whales (as depicted in the documentary The Cove) are awful and breeding them in captivity is just as tragic. Very few whales live to see middle age in captivity, and the quality of life they have for their shortened lives pales in comparison to living in the wild where they belong.
These majestic animals are suffering and dying because of their living conditions. Instead of swimming over a 100 kilometres a day, they swim in circles in their small tanks. They perform and do tricks to earn their food. They are molested for sperm samples by humans to continue the breeding programs that are obviously not working. They live in chemically-treated water that can cause "skin lesions, ulcers and even blindness" (as reported by WSPA). They are torn from their families in the wild and given very little opportunity for social interaction with each other in the tanks.
These animals are active, intelligent, family-minded creatures. A trainer was killed at SeaWorld last year by an orca whale and it wasn't the first time this whale had attacked and killed someone. Recently (according to WSPA), a beluga whale bit an 11-year old girl at Marineland in their "petting pool". This video (taken at Marineland in 2010) gives me chills when I think of what could have happened if this child had not been behind glass. These magnificent animals should not be living in these conditions and incidents of them acting out against humans, in my opinion, will definitely continue.
The marine animals are not the only wildlife suffering at Marineland. The deer park is absolutely baren, many suffer from mange and they stay huddled up along the fence line because it is the only shade available to them in the hot months. Marineland also has bears and staff reportedly do nothing to stop visitors from throwing any type of food at them, as they scramble and fight each other to get at it. It's just not right what happens there and I personally don't understand the attraction to such a sad and depressing place.
As a mom, I would absolutely LOVE to take my children to see these magnificent creatures up close. We all love and admire animals so much in our home and I know my young kiddies would be fascinated by a whale or dolphin show. But we also know the price that the animals pay to put on these shows and supporting that is just not okay. There is also absolutely no educational value for children in watching animals in such unnatural conditions and I cannot let my children think it's okay to treat animals in such an awful way.
What can you do to help? DON'T GO. Money is the only reason aquariums exist and if they do not have people paying admission prices, they won't survive. It is my sincere hope that I see this place shut down in my lifetime. Please, if you agree...re-post this blog wherever you can, several times this season. Tell people why you refuse to go to aquariums. Educating the public is the only way to help save the animals living in such horrible conditions at Marineland. Speak for those that cannot speak for themselves.
Thank you very much for your help.
Related blogs: Please don't go to the circus (the cruelest show on earth)