Two deer have died at Marineland after, the park says, a father and son allegedly caused the animals to stampede.
Marineland claims the pair caused a stampede at the park on its opening day on Saturday, and took off when staff tried to calm the animals.
The Niagara Falls amusement park and zoo released a statement saying:
“We were deeply disturbed by a shocking incident that occurred at Marineland’s Deer Park at the hands of two individuals who claimed to be a father and son.
“We are very sad to report that these individuals repeatedly attempted to, and were ultimately successful in causing a stampede of deer and laughed in the face of staff as they tried to get them to stop. They refused all instruction by staff, and resisted efforts to remove them from the Deer Park.
“As we were focused on calming and saving our animals from harming themselves, the individuals in question slipped away from the Deer Park.
“We are very sad to report two deer lost their lives in this incident. This has never happened before and our guests have always, as a general rule, behaved responsibly in the Deer Park. We are all upset by this terrible act against innocent animals. In order to protect our animals, we are closing the Deer Park to make modifications to prevent this type of incident from ever happening again.”
It is unknown if the pair was patrons or part of a group of protesters who lined the roadside in front of Marineland on the same day.
Niagara Regional Police were stationed in front of the park in response to the presence of the protesters, but it is not known if officers were involved with the incident in the deer park.
900 CHML has reached out to police for more information about the investigation and possible suspects.