Sunday, September 14, 2014
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
This past week Ceta-Base broke the news that a male Beluga whale named Beyli had died at Marineland on August 24th. No announcement was made from Marineland about the death. Three days later the local media picked up the story of the Beluga's death and Marineland was forced to issue a statement:
"We are sad to confirm that Beyli, a beluga whale, passed away recently. Beyli was close to 40 years of age and died of natural causes as a result of old age. Throughout his life with us, Beyli was in excellent health until his passing. Beyli was one of the first beluga whales to join us in 1999. He arrived at Marineland from a military facility in Russia. Since that time Marineland has built the most successful beluga breeding facilities in the world offering scientists and the public unique opportunities to learn about this incredible species."
Marineland's statement was published in the local QMI Agency owned newspapers in Niagara as well as the Toronto Sun and syndicated online at Canoe.ca which are both QMI properties. The local newspaper published a response to the Beluga's death from activist Mike Garrett which was edited out of the Toronto Sun and Canoe stories. Local talk radio station CKTB also reported on the death providing nothing more than Marineland's statement.
Marineland's Beluga program got off to a rocky start when they petitioned the Federal government for permits to capture wild Beluga whales off the coast of Manitoba in the late 90's. Marineland had requested to capture four females and two males, juveniles between the ages of 2 and 4. Public protest erupted over the captures and the Federal government refused to grant Marineland the permits to capture whales within Canadian waters.
Marineland's claim that Beyli is close to 40 yrs old at the time of his death would put his age at capture around 20 years old in 1994. This goes against Marineland's own original mission to capture juvenile whales. All aquariums capture juvenile cetaceans to ensure they can breed and exploit them for years before their premature deaths in captivity. Marineland expects the public to believe they went all the way to Russia to capture a middle aged Beluga whale. The media doesn't question this logic.
All media outlets who reported on the story failed to question the validity of Marineland's statement or ask why Marineland did not announce the death at all until it was made public by Ceta-Base. They did not question Marineland's claims that Beyli was close to 40 years old nor did they ask how many other Belugas have died at the Niagara Falls facility and why they hold the world's largest collection of captive Belugas in the first place. In fact, no questions were asked at all. If any of the media outlets who reported on the story had bothered to do any research at all they would have discovered Marineland's statement that Beyli was close to 40 years old and died of 'old age' is an outright lie. Simply regurgitating a press release seems to be what passes for reporting these days and failing to ask even sensible questions highlights the problem with the media when reporting on Marineland.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Statement by Mike Garrett
On Thursday Aug 28th I received notice of Justice Lococo's cost award ruling stemming from a hearing held in June of this year. In that hearing I sought to have Marineland's injunction order against me set aside, an injunction they received in 2013 designed to silence public protest on public property outside of the captive animal facility. In that hearing I was unsuccessful in having the order set aside however I did succeed in opposing Marineland's request the order be expanded in scope with further restrictions to myself and include other demonstrators. For the costs of this litigation Marineland indicated to the court they were seeking $30,000 and I submitted legal costs of $10,000. Ultimately Justice Lococo ruled I shall pay Marineland the cost of $10,000. The injunction order will remain in place until the outcome is determined of Marineland's separate $1.5 million dollar lawsuit against me.
The outcome of this is not surprising in a system that is setup to allow the abuse of process against individuals like myself by a large corporation such as Marineland. From day one I have been very aware of the consequences of opposing a company whose very business model is based on abuse and whose actions and behavior within the community could best be described as corrupt. The abuse of animals, people, the political and legal systems, the environment - I have always had many reasons why I oppose Marineland and now I have 10,000 more. The cost award changes nothing. I will be back on the streets tomorrow opposing this facility and industry as I've always done. I will continue to use creative and effective tactics against them at every opportunity and I will not lose a minutes sleep over it. I will also not back down upon facing further litigation by Marineland designed to intimidate and silence free speech. I will pay Marineland their $10,000 confident in knowing which side of history I'm on and how history is about to play out for them. I am very satisfied in knowing that I am costing them much more than they could ever derive out of me.
I want to thank every single person who continues to stand beside me in this fight. Friends and strangers from the activist community and beyond, from all over the world. Thank you to those that have offered financial and emotional support, who understand what this picture below represents and that the only way to battle an enemy like this is to work together. We won't be silenced.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Marineland owner John Holer found himself being chased off his own stage by one of his own captive walrus recently. The incident was captured on video shot by user What2du and posted online. It shows Apollo a large male pacific walrus locking eyes with the animal slavemaster and charging towards him. Holer was forced to make a hasty retreat and exit stage left.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Marineland Summer Trivia Challenge
How many orca have died at Marineland?
a) Over 5
b) Over 10
c) Over 15
d) Over 20
The property where Marineland is located was originally the location for what?
a) John Holer's house
b) A Wax Museum
c) A POW camp
Upon arrival at Marineland, trainers witnessed what they thought was this animal attempting suicide by repeatedly smashing its head against a wall:
a) Baby Jane the pilot whale
b) Kandu the killer whale
c) Bruin the black bear
d) Isis the beluga whale
In 1981 an outbreak occurred among Marineland's animal resulting in many animals having to be killed, what was the cause?
a) Foot and Mouth Disease
c) Mad Cow Disease
What year featured the very first public demonstration against Marineland?
What criminal charge has Marineland owner John Holer NOT faced?
a) Careless Driving
b) Animal Cruelty
c) Illegal Hunting
d) Uttering Threats
Marineland imports their wild caught animals most often from this country:
How many animals are thought to be buried in Marineland's animal graves at the back of the property?
Name the two neighborhood Labrador Retrievers Marineland owner John Holer is accused of shooting:
a) Ren & Stimpy
b) Jake & Toby
c) Blue & Thor
d) Bandit & Tucker
This well known activist famously called Marineland "a thug in the neighborhood" in 2005:
a) Paul Watson
b) David Suzuki
c) Ric O'Barry
d) Bob Barker
Over 20 orcas have died at Marineland, giving the facility one of the worst mortality rates of any aquarium or zoo in the world.
The property where Marineland is situated was originally the home of a German Prisoner of War Camp during World War II.
Shortly after arriving at Marineland a 700 lbs pilot whale named Baby Jane repeatedly smashed her head against the gate and wall of her tank.
A Tuberculosis outbreak occurred among the deer at Marineland resulting in a quarantine and mass killing.
1977 featured the very first public demonstration against Marineland by Greenpeace activists.
Despite various threats being captured on video, Marineland owner John Holer has yet to face the charge of uttering threats by police.
Marineland has imported most of their recently wild caught animals from Russia where regulations are lax.
Marineland's mass grave sites are estimated to hold the corpses of thousands of animals.
Blue & Thor were the names of the neighborhood dogs witnesses allege John Holer shot dead and had their bodies buried in a mass grave.
David Suzuki called Marineland "a thug in the neighborhood" appearing in the Niagara Region to assist activists being sued by the facility.
Captured off the coast of Iceland in 1979 Kiska has been at Marineland for over 30 years. Moved around the facility throughout the decades she has watched all of Marineland's other orcas die including 5 of her own calves. She now spends her time in a solitary tank with no companion.
The materials released by the advocacy groups Ontario Captive Animal Watch and Fins & Fluke show the daily teeth flushing regiment Kiska is forced to endure where trainers flush away particles from her broken, ground down and destroyed teeth. Captive orcas often grind their teeth or chew on gates or the sides of their tank out of boredom or stress which over time results in broken or damaged teeth that require daily irrigation. The pulp is exposed which could lead to infection so the teeth are drilled in a haphazard pulpotomy performed without anesthesia. The drilled teeth require flushing several times a day.
The groups also released several images taken over the span of a year showing the possible deterioration of Kiska's dorsal fin as well as a depression behind her blow-hole which could be an indication of a condition commonly known as 'peanut head' indicating severe weight loss. All photos and video have been submitted to the Ontario SPCA who say they are investigating.
Concerns for Kiska's health resulted in several articles this week as well as news reports on CBC and CHCH news. Marineland has denied all claims calling concerns for Kiska's health 'ridiculous'. No on-staff vet would appear on camera to defend the park's care and in the CHCH report Marineland admitted they do not have a scale to weigh Kiska. In 2012 it was revealed in a Toronto Star investigation that Kiska's tail had been bleeding for months in a persistent health issue Marineland had difficulty dealing with and the killer whale was constantly medicated.
Marineland has one of the highest mortality rates for orcas of any aquarium in the world with 14 dying there in the last 2 decades alone resulting in the complete collapse of their captive breeding program. In 2011 Seaworld successfully sued Marineland and repossessed their orca Ikaika over concerns about the whale's health if it remained at the Niagara Falls facility.
This past June saw a Free Kiska demonstration our front of Marineland. Ontario Captive Animal Watch has scheduled a public demonstration at the Newmarket Ontario SPCA office on Wednesday August 6th to ask the government agency to help Canada's last remaining captive orca. They have also released an online petition which has already garnered nearly 5,000 signatures.