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LETTER: 'Death count' enough to shut Marineland down

'Stopping captivity and instead helping nature will be the first step in stopping these horrors,' says letter writer
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Innocent animals are repeatedly dying. Shouldn’t that be enough?

Marineland’s lack of accountability is repulsive. Too many excuses are being made for their deaths. If 17 beluga whales have died in five years, then it is clear there is an animal cruelty problem.

Unfortunately, not only whales are dying. Multiple different animals are rapidly dying at the hands of Marineland. Their suffering goes beyond the treatment of whales, but also towards dolphins, seals, bears, and others. There is not enough room in cages and specific diets are not being met. But once again, where is the accountability?

Animals die in the wild, but animals are also dying in captivity in unusual ways at Marineland. This is an establishment that is already facing charges of animal abuse. As a kid, I enjoyed going to Marineland and seeing aquatic animals, like orcas or beluga whales. The reality, however, is these animals are being horribly mistreated. To put their suffering in perspective, whales are used to swimming in a massive body of water, but instead are being contained in a small container.

Let’s also not forget the orca legacy in captivity. These naturally aggressive animals have killed their trainers on multiple occasions. They are not safe, and they are retaliating. Marineland’s recently dead orca, Kiska, was reported to be swimming around her tank while her tail bled. Additionally, there was a normal occurrence of Kiska ramming her head into the walls of her tank with full force. This is not normal behaviour of a happy and healthy animal, nor would this behaviour occur in the wild.

Instead of profiting from viewing these animals, we should instead set them free. We should invest in helping wildlife. Initiatives like cleaning the ocean and repairing wild animals’ health are much more important. Stopping captivity and instead helping nature will be the first step in stopping these horrors.

Marineland deserves to feel ashamed. It is disgusting how it treats its animals. Saying sorry simply is not enough. More change needs to happen or only more animals are going to die, and if that is the case, when will the death count be enough?

Abbygayle Welch