As yet Another whale has died at Marineland, PETA is referring to such places as “abusement parks”.
Gia, a beluga whale under the age of five, recently died at Marineland Canada in Niagara Falls, where she had been born into captivity. According to preliminary necropsy reports, the cause of death was from an apparent intestinal blockage.
“More than 40 whales have died at this marine animal prison,” stated the PETA article. There seems to be a dramatic increase in people viewing these parks as unnatural compared to entertaining.
Last Chance for Animals conducted a five-month eyewitness investigation of Marineland, finding “abhorrent conditions and outright abuse of animals”.
“Marineland displays one lone orca—Kiska—beluga whales, dolphins, sea lions, and walruses in cramped tanks,” according to the article. “It has imported beluga whales and dolphins who were taken from their ocean homes and also keeps bears, deer, bison, and elk confined to cages that are surrounded by noisy roller coasters and other rides.”
Although the process of ending the normality of these cetaceans on display for human enjoyment is gradual, many are pleased that plans are in motion.
A Cantech Letter article from last summer noted that, sparked by ongoing protests from animal rights activists, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland, would have its dolphins moved to an oceanside sanctuary from the amphitheatre pool by 2020.
PETA referred to this decision as “monumental” and United States Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle wrote the National Aquarium’s goal is “more evidence that animal-based facilities” are adapting to cultural shifts and prioritizing the animals’ well-being.
In May 2016, this Baltimore aquarium was one of 61 worldwide that experienced Empty the Tanks protests, which consisted of activists standing in front of events such as dolphin shows, holding signs that had slogans including, “Captivity is Cruelty” and “Animals Aren’t Entertainment”.
In addition to these recent positive changes, SeaWorld in California had its final controversial killer whale show in March after years of protest and the damning documentary Blackfish, which highlights the problems of whales in sea-parks.
More than 400 million spectators have sat before SeaWorld’s orca shows, and this form of entertainment is scheduled to end in 2019 at Florida and Texas locations. Furthermore, Canada’s Bill S-203, which has been in the works for the past two years, is a piece of legislation that would outlaw keeping whales, dolphins, and porpoises in captivity.
“If it is not adopted into law, the unrestricted import of wild-caught whales and dolphins will continue, along with the export of beluga calves from Marineland to the United States and the use of cetaceans for entertainment in facilities that can't meet their biological, social or emotional needs,” the article says.
“Compassionate people the world over now recognize that sensitive, inquisitive animals don’t belong locked up in tiny tanks at marine parks,” PETA concludes.
It seems, contrary to the catchy lyrics and bouncy tune people can’t help but sing along to on TV, not everyone loves Marineland.