A beluga and a bottlenose dolphin have died at Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont., according to the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
Spokesperson Brent Ross told Global News that necropsies on both animals were “conducted by professionals retained by Marineland” as per post-mortem examination guidelines set in Ontario’s Animal Welfare Act.
“Due to the ongoing inspection by Animal Welfare Services, the ministry cannot provide further detail,” Ross said in an email.
Global News has reached out to Marineland for a statement on the occurrences but has not received a reply.
Phil Demers, a former Marineland trainer turned activist, said in a social media post that one of the deceased is Sonar, a female bottlenose dolphin.
World Animal Protection’s wildlife campaign manager Michèle Hamers said in an email she was “deeply disturbed” by the news and suggests it raises questions around “the state of care” for animals at the facility.
“We are calling on Ontario’s Solicitor General … to urgently implement stronger regulations … to protect the health and welfare of the remaining animals at Marineland and in other underregulated zoos and facilities across Ontario,” Hamers said.
The death comes just under two months after the death of killer whale Kiska at the facility.
Ontario’s Animal Welfare Services has been conducting an inspection at Marineland since July 2020 over concerns about the park’s water.
In 2021, it found all marine mammals to be in distress due to the water, court documents show.
Marineland denied those findings, saying its animals were not in distress.
The inspection remains ongoing three years later.
– with files from The Canadian Press