Monday, May 19, 2014

Demonstrators Descend on Marineland's Opening Day

This past Saturday marked the 53rd opening day for Marineland and as is tradition it was met by demonstrators determined to end animal captivity at the facility.  The theme of this year's demonstration was #SaveSmooshi in reference to beloved Smooshi the Walrus who remains one of many captive pinnipeds at Marineland, often kept out of sight from the public.  Approximately 500 people attended the demonstration also in support of the Marineland Whistleblowers, a group of employees who spoke out against the park's treatment of the animals and are now facing subsequent litigation.

As they did last year, Marineland attempted to stem growing opposition to its captive animal business by offering free admission to children on opening day however the parking lot remained unfilled throughout Saturday.

The peaceful but festive demonstration lasted about 4 hours and featured marching, chanting and calls for Marineland to stop exploiting animals for profit and the phasing out of current exhibits.  Niagara Regional Police were on hand to ensure property lines were respected and demonstrators could safely cross the busy road.  No incidents were reported.

The next demonstration at Marineland is scheduled for May 31st.

Further coverage of the event in the Niagara Falls Review

Video From the Toronto Sun

Photos courtesy of Precious LaPlante Photography

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