Marineland—a notorious marine park in Ontario, Canada—issued a statement on Monday morning announcing that a beluga whale held captive at its park had suddenly died. A preliminary exam revealed that the beluga, named Gia, suffered from “a twisted small intestine that resulted in a fatal blockage.” More than 40 whales have died at this marine animal prison.
— Orca S※O※S (@OrcaSOS) August 14, 2017
According to Marineland, the 5-year-old beluga’s death was sudden—but she was undoubtedly far from happy. Gia was born at the park, meaning that she spent her entire life confined to the barren concrete pools there.
This park gained notoriety after an investigation found that there were too few staff members to adequately care for the animals, dirty water, and mass graves containing thousands of animals at the facility. A Last Chance for Animals eyewitness investigation revealed that Gia was once left for three months in an isolation pool, where she became so emaciated that her ribs were showing.
Gia’s death comes just weeks after another beluga death—this one at SeaWorld—was in the news. On July 9, at SeaWorld’s Orlando park, a 17-year-old beluga named Whisper gave birth to a calf, but the baby died almost immediately. According to SeaWorld, the “unusually weak calf surfaced only briefly before sinking to the bottom of the pool.”
The exact reason for the calf’s death is unknown, but it appears that he or she was the latest victim of SeaWorld’s continued breeding programs. While the park is no longer breeding orcas, it continues to artificially inseminate animals such as beluga whales, polar bears, and dolphins.
How many animals have to suffer in captivity or die before marine parks like SeaWorld and Marineland realize that wild animals weren’t meant to be crammed into tanks and used for human amusement?
What You Can Do
Never go to a marine park, aquarium, or any other place that uses animals for entertainment or profit. Every dollar spent at these places contributes to the animals’ misery.
Share this post and spread the word so that your friends know to stay away, too.
Ask SeaWorld to move the marine animals it holds captive to spacious seaside sanctuaries where they’d still be monitored but would have a more natural life and not be forced to perform tricks.