Since 2020, Marineland Canada has undergone 160 provincial animal welfare investigations, many containing orders for poor water quality.
Essentially, though, nothing has changed. Within the past four years, 14 whales and one dolphin have died at the park.
Kiska, the killer whale, provides a case history of the facility. For 47 years, Kiska, lived in the amusement park’s concrete tank. Her five calves died shortly after childbirth and all her tank mates were transferred.
Ultimately, she spent the last 12 years in solitude, earning her the international title of the “world’s loneliest orca.” Without companionship, her mind broke and her health soon followed.
During this time, other aquatic mammals, such as dolphins and sea lions also showed signs of severe distress including eye, skin and respiratory infections. Trainers have quit their jobs to report the park’s deplorable conditions and the animals’ deteriorating health.
There have been protests and media coverage. In response, the government introduced the 2019 augmented provincial animal welfare laws and federal marine mammal anti-captivity legislation.
But it seems to have been too little and too late. Kiska died in March.
The Ontario government needs to stop the inhumanity, order the immediate closure of Marineland and transfer or release of all remaining animals.
Jennie M. Berkeley, Windsor
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