From the Marineland Blog:
Marineland Canada has received preliminary necropsy results on, Gia, a beluga whale who has called Marineland home since birth.
Gia passed away suddenly at Marineland. Up until her passing, Gia appeared happy, healthy and a well-adjusted member of her pod. Gia was taken care of by a dedicated marine mammal care team that have given hours of care to her each day of her life.
Complete necropsy results will be provided when received.
From the Niagara Falls Review:
A new video released by international non-profit group Last Chance for Animals exposes “inhumane treatment” of beluga whales at the park, according to a group spokesman.
The five-minute clip is comprised of hidden-camera footage shot over five months by an LCA investigator hired as a Marineland summer employee last year. It documents what the group calls “insufficient care,” showing belugas bunched together, covered in scars and skin conditions. One young calf named Gia, separated from her mother, is shown in an isolation pool “where her condition deteriorated.”
Adam Wilson, LCA’s director of investigations, said the employee shot “discreet” footage with high definition cameras. The majority of footage focussed on the park’s 46 belugas, the largest population of captive belugas in the world.
Last week I received the latest email newsletter from the Clifton Hill Resort. I like going to Marineland, but I don’t think I’ll ever have the nerve to go on SkyScreamer! 🙂
You can subscribe to the Clifton Hill Resort Update newsletter by visiting the Clifton Hill Newsletter page.
Yesterday afternoon I went to Marineland with my family. We were there a month or so ago, but before that it had been a couple of years.
I was surprised at how busy it was on a Tuesday afternoon. The parking lot certainly wasn’t full (if you haven’t been, their parking lot is HUGE), but the overflow area was open, and cars were continually coming in and going out.
Since the park was so busy, we didn’t bother to try to go on any rides. We had brought our dinner, and then we watched the show in King Waldorf Stadium. To be honest, we weren’t really looking forward to it as the last several times we’d seen it we were quite bored. Well, sometime in the last couple of years they have updated the show. The animals still do most of the same tricks, but the show is funnier and definitely geared more towards the kids. About 15 minutes before the show starts, a guy comes out and is cleaning up the stage. He ends up goofing around, and does a lot to get the crowd involved. Once the show actually starts, he is there for a bit as well. My kids loved it. My daughter was particularly thrilled to see the dolphins.
After the show, we got some ice cream and frozen lemonade, and then walked to Friendship Cove to see the Orca whales and the Beluga whales. We just missed the tail end (no pun intended) of the splash show with the Orca whales. This was the first time I had seen Ikaika and Kiska together in many trips. A couple of years ago they always seemed to be apart, and earlier this year they were apart. Not this time. After the show, Ikaika followed Kiska around closely.
I didn’t bring my regular camera with me, but I did have my Blackberry, so here are some pictures from the show, and from Friendship Cove.
Marineland has been out of the news for a few years now. I occasionally see a very small group of protestors outside the park, but other than that, it’s been quiet. That all changed this week when a lawsuit and court decision came to light about the male Orca whale they have on loan from SeaWorld. I was under the impression that Ikaika (Ike) was under permanent loan from SeaWorld in exchange for several Beluga whales. Apparently there is more to it than that. Late last year, SeaWorld terminated the agreement and asked for Ike back. Marineland has refused to give him back, and now a court has ordered them to give the whale back. Marineland says they will appeal.
This is a big deal for Marineland. For decades now, they have been known for their Orca (killer) whales. If they lose Ike, they will only have one aging female Orca whale (Kiska is 32 years old, the 5th oldest Orca in captivity). If she goes, they will have none. They were really hoping that Ike and Kiska would produce some offspring, but it hasn’t happened yet.
You can read the following articles for full details: