Marineland has temporarily closed its deer park after officials say two people intentionally caused the animals to stampede Saturday, resulting in the deaths of two deer.
In a news release issued Sunday, the tourist attraction said “we are deeply disturbed by the shocking incident.”
“This has never happened before and our guests have always, as a general rule, behaved responsibly in the deer park,” the statement read. “We are all upset by this terrible act against innocent animals. In order to protect our animals, we are closing the deer park to make modifications to prevent this type of incident from ever happening again.”
Marineland welcomes the announcement by Ontario’s Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur in regards to animal welfare and her decision to seek independent scientific advice in the establishment of appropriate standards of care for marine mammals.
The wellbeing of our animals and mammals has, and always will be, our first priority. Our dolphins, whales, sea lions, walruses, deer and bears are what attract the tens of millions who have watched our shows and visited our attraction. Like us, our visitors want to ensure those animals and mammals they love are well cared for and we are confident the establishment of transparent standards of care will provide that assurance and in the process ensure the long-term and ongoing success of Marineland.
After an extensive Toronto Star investigation into the treatment of sea life at Marineland, serious allegations are now being levelled about the diet and conditions of its land animals.
Casual brutality when animals need to be put down is common and substandard enclosures are prevalent, according to Jim Hammond, the former land animal care supervisor at the facility who resigned last year.
It was the death of a little Red deer in the summer of 2010 that was the final straw for Hammond at Marineland. The deer’s foreleg was badly broken, with the bone sticking out, and it had to be killed. Hammond accepted that, but it was how the deer died he’ll never forget.
Note: I was going through some of my draft posts, and found that I had this post essentially all done, but never did post it. It is from some of the trips we took last year to Safari Niagara. I still wanted to post it as there are some nice pictures and a good HD video of the giraffes and hippos.
Prior to 2010, I had only been to Safari Niagara (formerly Zooz) twice. We had gone in the Summer of 2002. I didn’t realize it until now, but it had just opened in May of that year. We also went in December of 2004. The zoo itself wasn’t open, but they had a special Christmas hay ride where they had the Heat Miser, the Snow Miser, and Santa around the zoo.
Boy, how things have changed in the intervening six years. All I remember from that first trip was the bird area and how they had lots of space. This year, they still have lots of space, but it actually has a lot of animals now. There are birds, flamingos, deer, moose, tigers, lions, giraffe, hippopotamus, monkeys, and more. Other than the animals, there are lots of other things to do as well. There is a huge playground, a large splash pad, a “lake” to fish in, an area to play volleyball or badminton, giant chess and checkers, as well as paddle boats.