Not everyone loves Marineland.
The Niagara Falls, Ontario amusement park just got slapped with five animal cruelty charges by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The charges relate to the treatment of peacocks, guinea hens and black bears after inspection officers and a veterinarian discovered wrongdoings during a visit to the park on November 10.
The visit was in response to a claim about alleged animal cruelty.
“Reports of animal cruelty are taken very seriously,” senior OSPCA inspector Steve Toy said in a statement, according to The Canadian Press. “When we receive reports of cruelty that involve wildlife or exotic animals, we will utilize our experts as well as industry experts to assist us with our investigation.”
Marineland faces one count of permitting a peacock to be in distress, one count of failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for a peacock and two counts of failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for guinea hens.
The park also faces one count of failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for about 35 American black bears, including failing to provide adequate and appropriate food and water for them.
And we thought it was just the confined marine life that had it bad.
The OSPCA didn’t remove any animals as part of its investigation, but will continue to monitor the animals as the investigation continues. Apparently, further charges are pending. Yikes.
“If convicted, they could face a $60,000 fine, a lifetime ban in owning animals and up to two years in jail,” said OSPCA spokeswoman Alison Cross.
Marineland did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
They must be pretty ashamed, after all. This isn’t the first time they have been under investigation and are no strangers to intense public scrutiny.
In 2012, former employees went public with allegations of animal abuse at the park among both its marine and land animals (no pun intended, given the severity of the issue). The OSPCA did not lay charges at the time but issued several orders, which Marineland was compliant with.
Marineland has long maintained it treats its animals well and has said all allegations of animal abuse are not true.
Seriously, though? What’s wrong with Ontario’s zoos and amusement parks?