A SEA OF TROUBLES
- In recent weeks, a dozen ex-employees of Marineland, from trainers to MCs to general staff, have come forward despite legal risks from non-disclosure agreements, to speak out about the ongoing and persistent abuse and neglect of animals at the park. Their testimony was part of an extensive Toronto Star Investigative report titled "Inside Marineland."
- Since 1992, 14 orcas have died while in Marineland's care. Causes of death have ranged from drowning and twisted intestines to meningitis and immuno-deficiencey.
- There is no regulatory oversight of marine mammal captivity in Ontario. The OSPCA does not have the expertise or jurisdiction to make meaningful changes and the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) is an industry group funded by zoos and aquariums themselves.
- In 2011, Ikaika the orca was repossesed by Seaworld San Diego from Marineland. Seaworld terminated the "breeding loan" of the killer whale, stating they were "concerned about Ikaika's physical and psychological health if it [sic] remained at Marineland."
- Marineland's veterinarian, June Mergl, does not have any special certification to work with marine mammals. She has been trained as a general vet in Virginia, USA, and outside of Marineland runs a cat and dog clinic.
- In addition to problems caring for marine mammals, Marineland also houses bears and deer in deplorable conditions. The deer have been observed for decades as having open wounds and tumours, while the bears have been reduced to begging for food from complicit tourists. They do not receive any veterinary care from the park, and an ex-employee has stated that he witnessed John Holer shooting deer himself.
- The iconic voice behind Marineland's faous radio ads has stated her shame at being associated with the park and that she would like to have her voice removed from the ads.
- John Holer has a documented history of assaulting and threatening demonstrators. In 1996 he allegedly hit a protester with his car, and in 2011, he was caught on video threatening to run over a demonstrator and "cut (his) head off." Additionally, Holer has used his wealth to leverage the legal system and threaten Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation against community organizations that oppose him - including www.GoHomeless.ca, Niagara Action for Animals and Marineland Animal Defense. NAfA spent thousands of dollars in defense of the frivolous suit.
- John Holer bought the land that held the Green Oaks Mobile Home Park and proceeded to evict 47 families, many of whom had been there for decades, from the premises within a year. Paula Millard, a long-time resident, committed suicide the day before the eviction in 2011. The land remains unused by Holer, 16 months later.
- John Holer recently leased a piece o public land near Marineland that was long used by demonstrators to voice their opposition to the park, stating the purpose of the purchase was for "beautification." The land remains unused.
to find out more.