Pages

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Not Everyone Loves Marineland

Sadly, 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)

41 comments:

  1. Jenn, I promise not to go!!! That's a promise I won't have any issues keeping, either... thanks for your info and your passion for advocating for these precious creatures. How they'd thank you if they could!
    Jeanine xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jenn I agree the conditions at Marineland are really miserable. However there are some places that I have seen (in Florida mind you) where they rescue injured animals and set them free after they have recovered. So if parents want to take their children to see these amazing animals there are places that use the money strictly for the animals and it really was great to see. Great message!
    Treina

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are awesome Jeanine! :)

    Treina, that sounds great. Have you been? Would love more info on those sanctuaries. There is a great donkey sanctuary here in Ontario that I love to take my kids to:

    http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.ca

    ReplyDelete
  4. If you are ever in Muskoka I highly suggest stopping at The Muskoka Wildlife Centre.

    http://www.muskokawildlifecentre.com

    They rescue and house injured animals.


    Mel Faux

    ReplyDelete
  5. Okay, just wrote a really long post to say great job, but google deleted it! I really appreciate you taking the time to share these facts with us and I have learned so much from watching your passion on this topic over the years. It has definitely influenced my decisions on where I take my little ones. I definitely want them to have a love and respect for animals of all kinds and to learn how to properly respect them. :-) Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Mel. That place sounds great too! :)

    Christi, I'm really excited about having the time to commit to this again. I have such heartache for those animals and hope to eventually be a part of seeing it stop. Maybe, hopefully...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your information is incorrect. Marineland has the most successful beluga breeding program in the world. There is not only one surviving calf, there are TWELVE living calves that were born since 2002. Although four were moved on breeding loans (three currently reside at Sea World in Florida, and one at Mystic Aquarium), the other eight of them are still very much alive and well at Marineland. You might want to check your facts before you pass judgement.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dear "Anonymous",

    I used a very reputable group for my information (quoting them and with direct links). Never in all my research on Marineland have I ever come across anything that suggests they are they have the "most successful beluga breeding program in the world". I would love to know your source please.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would very much like to see the link to the information that stated that only one beluga calf born at Marineland has survived. I visited the site you linked, but could find no such claim.
    The statement that they have the most successful beluga breeding program in the world is based on the number of calves born, and the number that have survived. Marineland's success far outstrips other marine facilities worldwide (you can look into it yourself. Their calves are as follow: Juno at Mystic; Klondike, Aurek and Maple at SeaWorld Florida; Horus, Burnaby, Jelly Bean, Eve, Charlotte, Mira, Neva, and Qila who still reside at Marineland). My main source comes from first hand observation, not second hand information that I find on random websites. However, my information can be verified on a number of independently run websites cataloguing captive orcas, belugas, and dolphins (for instance, "Cetacean Cousins").

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is pretty standard, anonymously attacking sources with the intended effect of discrediting the whole. The source provided was WSPA. Zoocheck's inventory, which is posted below, corroborates that more captive breed belugas have survived, however, all of this flies in the face of the inherent exploitation that captivity necessitates. Controlling reproductive systems, confinement, displacement, unnatural environments, frustrated desires, etc. all for the sake of profit. If you would like to answer to those issues I would love to hear it.

    http://www.zoocheck.com/campaigns_whaleswild_mlinventory.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would also like to add that the movie "The Cove" does not apply to Marineland in any way. None of Marineland's dolphins come from Japan, they are all from the Black Sea. The capture methods used in Japan have led North American and European facilities to completely boycott Japanese dolphins. If you enjoy that movie, and take all it presents at face value, you might want to watch the following:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tbwUEQo4Yo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KllJxpznagY

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dylan, there was a website provided, but not a direct source, and I was unable to find such a claim. If you have found it, I would love to see it. I also specifically chose that one "fact"/source as an example. There are many others that I take issue with, and would be happy to elaborate if need be.
    Although I realize that some facilities do control reproduction, this does not apply to the Marineland animals. They breed when they want to, and are not assisted or prevented with artificial measures. Anyone who visits the park risks seeing these animals engaging in natural amorous activities.
    However, the issues that you raise are not only present in the case of captive cetaceans, but in ALL captive species in any kind of facility in the world (big cats, canines, birds, fish, insects, etc.). They also apply to domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, and horses, as well as livestock (pigs, cows, chickens, etc).

    ReplyDelete
  13. I quoted from printed material from WSPA. I would be happy to send you a copy if would kindly provide your mailing address.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'd be more than happy to save you the time and postage. Why don't you scan this source and post it so that all of us can benefit from it?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wild capture, whether in Russia or Japan, both rely on separation, displacement, confinement and death. Both do so all in the name of profit. I cannot believe this is a line you are attempting to push.

    The notion that Marineland does not have breeding programs is equally hilarious and unfounded. The park has shops out and brings in selective breeders for their programs and shares within the larger network of captive marine mammal parks in North America. This is known. I can understand your lack of knowledge here if you also don't know that we control the reproductive systems of "cows, pigs, chickens, etc." (Supply and demand).

    If you feel so strongly and have such intimate knowledge, I ask for your transparency. Are you a Marineland employee willfully posting incorrect information on a website in order to protect your employer?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wild capture with any species is unpleasant. I cannot believe that you draw a line regarding which species deserve to be treated specially.

    I was referring to chemical birth control and artificial insemination. All captive breeding programs in all zoos and aquariums seek to find matches and produce viable offspring (the SSP involves a wide variety of species, are you opposed to it?). I was including the control of reproductive systems in my comment about domesticated animals and livestock.

    I am not a Marineland employee, simply a frequent visitor. There are many of us, regardless of what you might want to believe.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Believe me, I am aware there are a lot of people who find joy in the suffering of others.

    I made no distinction between species. Thank you for providing a space for allowing me to compare wild capture and captivity to human slavery.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Irrespective of how many have died prematurely (which, I hope we can all agree that animals die prematurely in captivity - including Marineland); the very fact that they are there is what is so horribly wrong...that we, as a species, think that it is patently alright to capture, confine and use as we wish, another species of animal for our "entertainment" just stinks. I'm sure there will people who suggested that slaves were better off with slave-owners ...

    ReplyDelete
  19. i think that it is horrible what they do to the marine life and it deffinately should be stopped. i would love to get involved and help this cause in any way i can, the documentary "the cove" inspired me even more. i was wondering if marineland uses the method you see in "the cove" to obtain their dolphins?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I honestly am not sure what exact method Marineland uses...but it definitely involves capture, separation from their families and a very stressful trek to Niagara Falls. If you are interested in getting more involved, check out this amazing group. You can donate to help wih printing costs and/or come on out to show your support for the animals. Hope to see you at a demo this summer!

    http://marinelandanimaldefense.tumblr.com/

    ReplyDelete
  21. 12 Year Old from MichiganSeptember 1, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Hi, I just returned from a visit to MarineLand on 8/29/2011 with my family, and we were very saddened, shocked and disgusted. It started with the marine animals which seemed to have too many in such small pools. The dears appeared to be near death, with no grassy area or tress or bushes to rub on. The bears water area was beyond filthy, they looked very ill and we were embarrassed that the staff didn’t care enough about them to keep their area clean. When we asked the only worker that we had seen who was selling the corn puffs, she said she “had nothing to do with the animals”. How could you work at an animal park and see that torture and not have anything to say. A disgrace of a human being right there in our face. The plastic bottles and trash in the water was unhealthy for any human or animal. The owners and workers of MarineLand should have to live in such filth. The torture continued to amaze us while it did get worse when we seen the red tail deer, elk, and buffalo who again had the same habitat as the deer exhibit with no grass, trees or shade, just a barren hard dirt ground with no water sources or natural living area. I wish we would have read more about MarineLand before our visit as it sadness me that we “donated” or admission fee to the torture of animals that we care so much about. Thank you for having this website; you have encouraged this 12 year old girl to stop this animal cruelty.

    PLEASE BOYCOT MARINELAND

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow...what an amazing, well spoken, 12 year old you are. Thank you so much for your feedback about Marineland. Let's hope your words will also help convince other people to boycott this sad, sad place.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you for writing this blog. I have never understood why there isn't an activist group or some animal protection group that can shut them down. I wish I could save all of those animals and share in your disgust.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's an amazing group of volunteers called MAD (Marineland Animal Defense) that is and has been trying their best! Hopefully it will be shut down in our lifetime. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  24. Thanks for writing up this blog. Sadly, I can't say it's nothing I don't already know...
    There's a difference between facilities where incapacitated whales are kept to have a chance at living- a chance that they wouldn't have received in the wild -, and when healthy, happy whales are torn from their family pods to preform tricks for spectators in captivity. Actually, does that sound sort of like slavery to anybody else...?

    I feel bad that my friend invited me to go with her and I accepted...seeing the whales would be so amazing, but I'll feel guilty the entire trip.
    Ps: Yes, I'm fourteen...

    Poor whales...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Declining the offer politely and giving the reason why would be the bravest thing to do! There are many other attractions you could visit that don't torture animals.

      Delete
  25. Hi Jenn - I have never been - however I am guilty of attending various zoos etc. that house animals. I am just wondering your view on CAZA? I know nothing of it - at all - and I just wondering from your information if you have an opinion about CAZA? (I just read about a site I just visited that is CAZA accredited.) I am trying to educate myself about animal sanctuaries vs. animal attractions. Your blog has me thinking...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello...so sorry for the delay. I haven't been receiving notifications when I receive comments for some strange reason.

      I looked into CAZA for you and a friend of mine replied with this:

      "The CAZA is a industry self regulation front. Places pay their fees and are accredited. It presents a common front and unites that network. As with all of these networks - if you step outside the lines you will be punished - i.e. Toronto Zoo losing accreditation for Councilors retiring elephants to the Performing Animals Welfare."

      So bottom line, seems to be...money talks. So glad this has you thinking though! The Donkey Sanctuary in Guelph is absolutely wonderful, should you ever be in that area. We went last year and will be bringing the kids back again this year for sure.

      http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.ca

      Delete
  26. I wish I could have been involved with this <3 Marineland is AWFUL. it would also be my blessing to see this horrid place shut down! :) Bless you <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, horrid. Agreed. In our lifetime, it will be shut down. I can't wait for that day.

      Delete
  27. I just got home from they today with my wife and 6yr old dauther and came across your site. I agree the amimals just look so sad I think the $ that gose throw the front gates just gose in to someones pocket and not back in to the park. It look run down and old we will never return I pray that it gets shut down sooner than later

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your report. Telling others what the conditions are there will hopefully stop them from giving them anymore money.

      Delete
  28. Maybe there's a better cause? "over two million women and children are being held in sexual servitude worldwide, 80 percent of those sold into sexual slavery are under 24, with some as young as 6. An estimated 30,000 die annually from abuse, torture, neglect and disease." I wish more people had children as their top priority.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Before you judge what I choose to fight for (and I never said this cause was more important than yours), maybe share what YOU are doing to fight sexual slavery? If you had done your homework you would know that I choose a children's charity to raise money for at every large Party Mama party I throw (feel free to search this blog for Halloween and Easter Egg Hunt parties more info).

      Thanks for your comment.

      Delete
    2. What a strange and ridiculous request, give up on saving animals because of prostitution in foreign countries.... what the ....

      I think its awesome the dedication you have Jenn, love reading your posts. nuclear proliferation by the way is a threat to all human life on earth, so maybe we should ignore the whales, dolphins and prostitutes and focus on fighting all governments with an interest in nuclear energy and weapons. really, why boycott marineland or thai child prositutes if russia starts producing intercontinental ballistic missiles to fight india. think about it.

      Delete
    3. Leave it to you D to bring up another side of the argument. lol This comment brought me back to high school in Law and Debate class. There used to be three groups - for, against and your sister's in between. There is definitely a family resemblence. :)

      Delete
  29. I HATE MARINELAND!!!!! THE BELUGAS ARE GETTING SICK AND DYING FROM BEING PET BY PEOPLE WHO PAY EXTRA TO TOUCH THEM. THEY DON'T MAKE THEM WASH THEIR HANDS FIRST! THE OWNER HAS STUDENTS WITH NO TRAINING TAKING CARE OF THE WHALES AND EVEN HAD A CO=OP STUDENT GO INTO THE ORCA TANK TO CLEAN THE SIDES OF THE TANK WITH THE ORCA IN THE TANK! THE DEER ATACK PEOPLE BECAUSE THE ARE STARVING! I COULD GO ON AND ON IT'S DISPICABLE!!!!!! AMY WILCOX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could't agree more! We could use your passion over at M.A.D. (Marineland Animal Defense). Check it out. :)

      http://marinelandanimaldefense.com/

      Delete
  30. Hey my name is Letara Couto and I'm doing a documentary on Marineland and John Holer and was wondering if you could make a video of you explaining what you wrote. How you felt, and what happened. You can e-mail: marinelanddoc@gmail.com

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I agree with your email completely and would like to help your cause. I grew up only kilometers from this horrid place and every time go by I think of the animals inside. Do you know what happens in the off season??? Do the animals get attention/ are they kept busy???

    ReplyDelete