Everyone Doesn’t Love Marineland

When my brother and I were kids we used to joke that we were on a first-name basis with the animals at Marineland.  Living just a short drive from Niagara Falls, out of province or out of country relatives would expect to spend a day at the theme park when they visited.  Most kids were over the moon to go to Marineland.  We liked it well enough but it got to be kind of routine for us.  

As a little kid, I don’t recall giving much thought to the animals being in captivity.  Why would I?  Life is what it is when it’s presented to you.  Here is how we show you seals and dolphins.  They’re in a tank being fed fish from a bucket.  What else would I know about marine life?  But the revelation this week from a trainer who worked there 12 years and finally couldn’t take it anymore, confirmed an adult’s worst fears.  The animals apparently aren’t being properly looked after.

Larry, the harbour seal who has eye problems and is likely blind, is ill from being kept in unhealthy water. Larry is the son of Nunavut, the only harbour seal from Storybook Gardens in London to survive transfer to St. Louis this summer. Another seal at Marineland, Baby, was also born at Storybook.

If Marineland’s business isn’t all but over because of this scandal, I’d be very surprised. And with single admission at $42.95, perhaps they deserve it. Marineland has responded that its animals are given the highest quality care.  The SPCA says it will investigate.  Even jingle singer Suzie McNeil wants her voice pulled from the ads. Maybe it’s time to say so long to these kinds of attractions. If we want to see a seal or a whale, we should go to where they live and take a gander. And let’s take that perspective to zoos, too.  Enough already, arrogant, ignorant humans.