After years of watching this commercial on TV (featured just below) where I dreamed of the day I would be lucky enough to pet a Beluga Whale, it FINALLY happened! I was able to experience this phenomenon with both my child and my mother at MarineLand in Niagara Falls.
The staff was very kind and friendly while providing us with our tickets. FYI children under 4= free. Adults are $44.95. As we stepped foot into the park grounds we felt something was missing… A lack of a joyful atmosphere. Music would have helped. Little popcorn or food stands selling treats would have been nice too. We walked a little distance until we arrived at the Deer Park. At first we were so happy to see what felt like hundreds of deer… Upon further inspection my 4 year old daughter was saddened, so was I. Some of their antlers were bleeding and raw to the bone. They seemed to be under fed, relying on the park guests to feed them. There was no grass for them to graze on, no hay, no salt licking stones, barely a spot of water in sight. Little ice cream cones of food were being sold at a concession stand for just over $2.00. The deer were so hungry they were eating ANYTHING. Including their own feces. What could have been a beautiful photo, is ruined by the neglected deer oozing with blood from it’s antlers:
The aquarium was, well let’s just say any aquarium in Dubai would put it to shame. I am not sure the last time the tank was cleaned? It looked a bit gunky and foggy. I even noticed glue holding areas of the glass tanks together.
The Bison (buffalo) were packed in a field of sand, again no food in sight. Guests to the park were going to the nearby fields and pulling grass out to feed them through the wired fence. The same story goes for the red deer and other native animals to our country Canada.
But the worst…the bears. They were literally clawing at the cement walls begging for food, relying on guests to feed them. This is no life for a bear to live!
On a POSITIVE note! Which was the highlight of our day!
Our encounter with Beluga Whales. At least they were being fed fish (plenty) and the trainers showed real admiration and love for them. We especially enjoyed the company of the trainer in charge “Pete” and Ashley. They were kind, and did not rush us with our visit with the most beautiful underwater creatures (in my opinion). My family and I played with Mika and can you believe what the name of Mika’s baby is? RUBY! Too cute! To pet and feed a Beluga $8.75 CDN. It was the BEST part of MarineLand and highly recommended in my books.As we prepared to head home, we made one last round of the park and witnessed a 40 + year old killer whale named Kiska suffering from dementia swimming in circles in a pool. The girl working with the whale told me that it had access to freely swim between two pools but preferred the smaller one. Simply plunked in a pool. Ruby cried that evening (again she is ONLY 4) asking if they could let her free in the ocean that she would be so happy. I couldn’t agree more with her.It’s time MarineLand pulls up their wetsuits and takes some action with these poor souls. Let them FREE where they belong OR create the perfect atmosphere for these animals, including proper care and more natural elements to feel like they are in the wild.
The remainder of the park was, well just that. A few areas to picnic and a couple of rides for the kids. The place needs a makeover and some tender loving care!
You know you should never judge a book by it’s cover, but even it’s website is lacking in esthetic appeal http://www.marineland.ca/