Marineland: Profits over basic needs?

By: Jennifer Pretty Aug 28, 2012
  Editorial
Marineland

Water: It’s something you rarely think about. There are a million reasons why you reach for it. On a hot summer’s day, nothing tastes better than a cold glass of it. After a hard workout you can’t drink it fast enough!

When you are out and about with your loved ones and decide to indulge in something fun, again, you make sure that you have plenty of water within arm’s reach. A popular way to spend a fun day for many of us is to visit amusement parks. A popular family fun destination is Marineland, located in Niagara Falls. The themed amusement park, with its many animal exhibitions has been wowing families since 1961. With 15 rides, at least 10 animal exhibits, featuring shows with marine mammals and trainers, and lots and lots of water sprayed into the audience, there’s fun for the entire family. Young, old and everything in between, nobody can resist the beluga, the orca and killer whales, the dolphins, the walrus and the sea lions.

You aren’t alone, if Marineland is one of your favourite places to spend a day of fun. It’s estimated hundreds of thousands of people walk through those doors between Victoria Day and Thanksgiving each year. Between the rides, the exhibits, picnic areas, stroller and wheel chair rentals, John Holer, founder and owner of Marineland has thought of everything to make your day as fun-filled and comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, while thinking of your comfort, he has apparently thought nothing of the basic needs of the animals who live in captivity at the park.

With an average ticket price of $42.24, multiplied by hundreds of thousands of visitors to the park annually, which I figure is around $10,560,000 (if we’re assuming about 250,000 paying visitors), are you kidding me that this guy can’t afford to provide safe drinking water and other basic necessities for those mammals, who are the backbone of his business?

Why are former trainers speaking to The Star about the horrendous conditions at Marineland? Why are trainers quitting because they say they can no longer witness the neglect and abuse of the animals? Why are videos surfacing of sea lions who are “writhing in pain or plunging their heads in a single bucket of clean water?” Why is Larry, a harbour seal, stuck behind bars, with swollen and red eyes, and reportedly blind? Why have numerous marine mammals died over the years due to neglect and horrific living conditions? Why doesn’t the government regulate mammal captivity? Why is Mr. Holer in business promoting fun for the whole family, when he is allegedly abusing the very animals who provide that fun?

And the big question, why do people continue to visit Marineland, in light of these allegations? The Star doesn’t run an exposé without having its facts straight. Even following ongoing protests outside the gates, calling for an end to the abuse of the animals and for the park to close its doors or treat the animals humanely, I am shocked to learn how many people continue to flock to Marineland.

Are you as ill to your stomach as I am and moreover, will you join me in boycotting Marineland and by signing the online petition, which is being sent to Premier Dalton McGuinty and calls on him to protect animals in captivity?

 

Until next time,

Peace, love and vitamin C!

 

Jennifer Pretty began her career as the director of artist development for a well-known Canadian music label. Branching out on her own, she then started her own PR business “Pretty Media Management” planning and hosting various charity, entertainment and fashion events. As a dance and fitness class enthusiast Jennifer is a firm believer in the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. She also loves to cook, travel, spend time with family and friends and most importantly living life to the fullest!