Marineland under investigation for allegedly forcing captive animals to perform
Niagara Falls, Ontario tourist attraction Marineland was once best known for its cheesy TV and radio jingles, but the theme park/animal prison has developed a recent reputation among animal welfare activists, and the latest in a string of complaints now have local police involved.
Media are reporting that two complaints lobbied by members of the public against the aquatic-themed attraction are being investigated by Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS).
One of the complaints came from U.S animal advocacy group Last Chance for Animals (LCA), their lawyer Miranda Desa telling blogTO the complaint was filed in response to allegations that "dolphin shows" observed by LCA members violate a 2019 law to end the captivity of cetaceans in Canada — a bill Marineland openly opposed.
Desa says LCA made its complaint "out of concerns that these shows may not comply with the new criminal code provisions from the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, section 445.2(4) of the Criminal Code."
The complaint is based on a section in the act that forbids using captive cetaceans for live performances. Desa alleges that these dolphin shows involve "dolphins performing tricks; you see them jumping, you see them racing off, spinning on the side of the pool, posing to music, and doing flips and things."
In one disturbing account, Desa claims that an LCA investigator attending the park "observed a dolphin dance party with dolphins, bobbing their heads and dancing on command in front of an audience to music while people applauded."
"In this, the concern is that these shows may not comply with that new law and go against the act," said Desa.
Reports of a police investigation come as yet another public relations setback for Marineland, which has not only had to deal with the blowback from viral videos and legal complaints drawing attention to its lonely, obviously depressed orca, Kiska, but also rumours of the park's impending sale and closure.
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