Written by Alisa Mullins
A newspaper exposé has led to an investigation by Ontario's Environment Ministry into four mass animal graves at the province's Marineland theme park. According to a former park employee, the graves contain the bodies of more than 1,000 animals, including orcas, dolphins, seals, walruses, bears, bison, and deer.
Former marine-mammal trainer Phil Demers described one particularly gruesome incident to a reporter from the Toronto Star. After an orca named Kandu died in December 2005, he was buried on the park's grounds. But staffers failed to obtain brain tissue samples during the whale's necropsy, so Demers and another trainer were assigned the macabre task of exhuming Kandu's body two weeks later.
"He was not frozen and it smelled so bad and there was blood all over the place," says Demers. "I was elbow deep in the pit in a reddish orangey sludge and we both kept coming up to vomit. It was gross."
Graveyard of Niagara Falls
The graves may be illegal, since Ontario requires waste permits to dispose of animal corpses and the park apparently had no such permits. Government officials are also concerned about possible contamination of the water and soil, especially because of the graves' close proximity to the Welland River, which feeds nearby Niagara Falls.
PETA has been campaigning against Marineland for years, citing the park's abysmal conditions and the high mortality rate among young whales and dolphins. The park also has a long history of obtaining wild-caught beluga whales, dolphins, and orcas, including Keiko, aka "Willy" from the movie Free Willy, whom Marineland sold to an even more depressing park in Mexico, where he languished for years before being rescued and rehabilitated. This summer, Demers and seven other former trainers came forward to report numerous instances of neglect and abuse, including serious damage to animals' skin and eyes because of filthy, tainted water.
Alarmingly, Ontario is Canada's only province that does not regulate the keeping and displaying of exotic animals or conduct public-safety inspections. Parks like Marineland are allowed to "police" themselves, and Marineland's mass graves are silent testimony to how good—or bad—of a job it's doing.
You Can Help
Refuse to patronize any marine park, including SeaWorld, which also has a tragic track record. Please voice your objections about the lack of adequate captive-animal protection laws in Ontario to Premier Dalton McGuinty:
The Honourable Dalton McGuinty
Premier of OntarioRm. 281, Main Legislative Bldg., Queen's ParkToronto, Ontario M7A 1A4416-325-7578 (fax)
Written by Michelle Kretzer
The grisly photos of Nakai, an orca imprisoned at SeaWorld who has a dinner plate–size gaping wound on his lower mandible that he likely sustained when another orca attacked him, have sparked nationwide outrage.
As PETA alleged in its complaint to government regulators, SeaWorld confined Nakai to a small tank with other orcas with whom he was not compatible, in clear violation of the Animal Welfare Act, and then tried to cover up its orca abuse following the attack by claiming that Nakai injured himself on the side of the pool. A huge, impassioned crowd gathered outside SeaWorld San Diego, where Nakai is kept, to let residents know to steer clear of the marine-mammal prison.
If the response they got is any indication, the protesters were preaching to the choir. People who were stopped at red lights waved and cheered their support and took leaflets with them. And there were so many honks from the passing cars that advocates who were giving interviews to the throngs of reporters had to keep starting over.
People all across the country are telling SeaWorld to get out of the cruelty business. Urge The Blackstone Group, which owns SeaWorld, to retire its marine mammals to sanctuaries.
the upcoming Disney flick LOL, Lina Esco plays Miley Cyrus' fearless BFF who always
speaks her mind. The role wasn't a stretch for Lina, who constantly looks for
opportunities to talk about the cause that is closest to her heart: getting
marine mammals out of captivity.
has helped create two stirring public service announcements about how marine parks such as SeaWorld abuse
animals and how the parks are responsible for Japan's dolphin slaughter. One of the ads features a talented group of kids, and the other boasts a who's who of Hollywood elite.
Now it's Lina who is in front of the
camera, starring in a video for PETA in which she asks her fans not to
patronize marine-mammal shows:
makes a difference because she is never silent. Whether the cause you
are most passionate about is ending the abuse of animals in marine parks, preventing animals from being
killed for fur, or getting great apes out of
laboratories, learn how you can "never be silent."
PETA is calling for a U.S. Department of
Agriculture investigation after D.J., a 15-year-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin,
was found dead on the
floor of his tank at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. Trainers said that D.J., short
for De Janeiro, was acting unusual and not eating the day before he died. He is
the second dolphin to die
at the aquarium—Cobie, also just 15, died of pneumonia in 2007.
Docklands Tony|cc by 2.0In the wild, dolphins swim up to 100 miles per day in family pods or tribes of hundreds.
Untimely deaths are the rule for marine mammals in captivity.
At SeaWorld alone, between 1986 and 2011, 25 orcas died—and not one from old age. The unending and debilitating stress of captivity weakens
marine mammals' immune systems, causing them to die earlier than their wild
counterparts, who live for decades. Those who don't succumb to intestinal
gangrene, acute hemorrhagic pneumonia, pulmonary abscesses, chronic kidney
disease, chronic cardiovascular failure, septicemia, influenza, or other health
problems may take their own lives by hitting their heads against the sides of
pools or simply not coming up for air.
Please watch dolphins only at
the beach, not in tanks.
Written by PETA
PETA India hopes that Jairam Ramesh—union minister of state for environment and forests—will heed the message of last month's disaster at SeaWorld and immediately halt plans to build a dolphinarium to house Gangetic dolphins at the National Zoological Park in New Delhi.
Gangetic dolphins are a critically endangered species of freshwater dolphin. They were recently declared the National Aquatic Animal of India, but the way to save them is not by keeping them in chemically treated pools. Most captive dolphins die prematurely and live to only half the age of their wild brothers and sisters. Wild dolphins live with family pods, and capturing even one dolphin disrupts the entire group. To obtain a female dolphin of breeding age, for example, boats are used to chase the pod to shallow waters, where the animals are surrounded with nets that are gradually closed and lifted onto the boats. Unwanted dolphins are thrown back. Some animals die from shock or stress, and others slowly succumb to pneumonia when water enters their lungs through their blowholes. Pregnant females may spontaneously abort babies.
Instead of condemning dolphins to a grim fate in a tank, the Department of Environment and Forests would better serve these endangered animals by taking decisive measures to protect and conserve the beleaguered Gangetic dolphins in their natural habitat. Back in 2001, thanks to the help of many dedicated supporters, PETA successfully convinced the Virginia Marine Science Museum not to add a dolphin tank to its facilities. Instead, Virginia Beach, Virginia, visitors who want to see marine mammals visit the beachfront along the Atlantic Ocean and view the animals in their natural environments. With public sentiment against aquatic prisons at an all-time high, we're hopeful that the Indian government will make the humane decision to keep these sensitive, intelligent, and endangered animals where nature intended them to be.
Written by Logan Scherer
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.