Anthony Armentano, Global Animal
ONTARIO — The ocean life at Marineland Canada is subjected to a bleak environment consisting of glass barriers, screaming children, overstressed parents, and roller coasters.
Last week, a park spokesperson confirmed speculation surrounding these unsafe conditions, specifically the deaths of two young beluga whales. This information was brought to light in October 18, 2012, when the Toronto Star reported the park suddenly lost two young belugas.
Although no specific date of death has been given for either animal, Charlotte, a three-year-old beluga, died sometime in Fall 2012, and Luna, a one-year-old, died sometime earlier this year.
The spokesperson also revealed that Charlotte was afflicted with a rare metabolic disorder, and Luna died just half a year after birth.
Marineland has had a number of problems with animal deaths in the past. Last August, infant beluga Skoot suffered a lengthy attack by two adult belugas, rendering her unconscious and incapable of swimming. Skoot died in the arms of her trainers following complications brought on by the attack.
Over the years, the amusement park has built a hefty share of critics, including former members of Marineland’s own training staff.
After visiting the park, Alex Dorer, president of the cetacean advocate group, Fins and Fluke, expressed concern for the quality of the whales’ confining environment.
Dorer said, “Some of the beluga’s are covered in rake marks and others have apparent signs of skin damage to their mouths. We were not able to get an honest answer about either the rake marks or the damaged skin, but it wasn’t pleasant to look at.”
These heartbreaking deaths raise Marineland’s death toll to 20 beluga whales over just 14 years of business.
Belugas have the ability, in some cases, to live up to 60 years old—making these statistics even more tragic.
Perhaps these recent deaths will push Marineland to reexamine their level of adequacy revolving around the raising of marine life.
Sign the petition asking Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Government to pass a new law that will regulate a high standard of care for animals in aquariums and zoos, and will provide an opportunity to close places like Marineland when they don’t comply.