TORONTO, Jan. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Marineland is pleased to announce another surprise, snap inspection by Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) took place today and that one more time, the animals and our park have been given a clean bill of health.
We are also pleased to report that the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) has released its findings and orders after a four month long investigation into allegations of animal abuse and neglect at our Niagara Falls park.
The OSPCA has found no evidence of animal abuse and no charges have been laid.
The OSPCA has issued a number of orders to Marineland, which will provide additional confirmation regarding the health of the animals or are in aid of enhancing the existing facilities. None of the Orders require immediate action or are directed to an issue that requires immediate remediation.
Some of the Orders simply confirm steps that Marineland has already taken. For example, Marineland hired an independent marine ophthalmologist to examine the eyes of our pinnipeds. That examination took place a week before the OSPCA's last snap inspection and before the Order by the OSPCA to conduct that examination. The eyes of the animals at Marineland are routinely checked.
The OSPCA asked to have marks on Baker, one of our seal lions, examined. Both marks are very old. One is an identification tattoo placed on Baker in the United States well prior to him coming to Marineland and the other is very old. Baker is 28 years old and may be the world's oldest sea lion. Life expectancy in the wild is 10 years and the normal life expectancy is 15. He lives in Marineland's retirement home under the care of nutritionists and veterinarians.
Marineland will also expand existing shelters for deer and elk to take into account recent increases in the size of the herds. We will follow the OSPCA recommendations in that regard.
With respect to the bear enclosure, we will follow their recommendations.
Also, this week Marineland agreed to join a working group with Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums and Ontario's Ministry of the Environment to determine the fate of the remains of animals that have passed away at zoos and aquariums across Ontario. The Ministry wants to create a proper protocol for issuing permits. The Ministry found no issues with groundwater contamination at our park.
In the past, no burial permits had been needed and it has been common custom for zoos, aquariums and farms to inter animals on their own land.
On that note, we were very disappointed to see the inflammatory language used by the Toronto Star in their reporting on the final resting place of the animals that have grown old and died at the park over the last half century. We have received many phone calls expressing anger with the use of "mass graves"- a term that is normally reluctantly used in association with war crimes. Our animals have been buried in a secluded natural location next to a woodlot far from any water, roads or wells.
It's been a busy week.
We would also like to take a moment to thank the public for the overwhelming support we have received in the past several months in the face of disproven allegations in the Toronto Star against our management and employees who have been harassed by radical animal liberation bullies who demand the closure of all zoos and aquariums and who will say anything to try to silence anyone who disagrees.
For further information:
Ann Marie Rondinelli