Former Marineland workers calls to provincially regulate zoos & aquariums
Tourists line up at a viewing area to see two Marineland attractions, a Killer Whale calf swimming with its mother and a small pod of Beluga Whales in Niagara Falls, Ont. on Wednesday July 18, 2001. (Scott Dunlop / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Some former employees of Marineland in Niagara Falls are urging the Ontario government to take immediate action to regulate zoos.
Phil Demers, a former animal trainer at Marineland, delivered a petition to the legislature with 77,000 signatures asking the province to develop laws to protect animals in zoos and aquariums.
Demers says even though he's no longer getting a paycheque from Marineland, he still wants to protect the animals from poor conditions.
He says his heart is still breaking after watching dolphins swimming with their eyes squeezed shut because their water filtration system had broken down and was not repaired.
Jim Hammond says he quit after 11 years at Marineland because he could no longer bear to see animals not being properly cared for and housed in inappropriate settings.
Zoocheck Canada says anyone can open a zoo or aquarium in Ontario without facing regulations or standards to protect the animals or the staff.