Legal action against French marine park over orcas

Sunday March 27, 2016

An employee trains orcas at Marineland on the C​​ôte d’Azur

Environmental campaigners have said they are taking legal action against a French marine park over the treatment of its orca whales and other animals after a number were killed during a storm.

Marineland in Antibes reopened a week ago after suffering severe damage indeadly storms that struck the Côte d’Azur in southern France in October.

Many animals and fish at the park died, including Valentin, a 19-year-old orca that succumbed to internal injuries a week later.

The park was deluged with mud, killing sharks, sea lions and turtles, because it was left without electricity to pump in clean water.

Sea Shepherd, an international NGO, organised a protest attended by about 250 people outside the park on Sunday. It said the orca enclosures remained highly unsatisfactory and that the animals should never have been subjected to such danger.

Its founder, Paul Watson, said: “We are against the keeping of orca whales in captivity because it is simply not where they should be.”

There has been growing global opposition to keeping orcas, also known as killer whales, in captivity, particularly since the release in 2013 of Blackfish, a documentary on the treatment of orcas at SeaWorld in the US.

SeaWorld announced earlier this month that it would no longer breed captive orcas and that the current generation would effectively be its last.

Sea Shepherd has lodged a legal complaint against Marineland, claiming that the park mistreats its animals and pollutes the local environment. The NGO expects a first hearing to be held in September.

The park denies charges of mistreatment and said in a statement on Sunday that “the conditions of wellbeing of the marine mammals are carefully and strictly controlled by several organisations, as well as European and international regulations.”

Marineland is already subject to a preliminary investigation following complaints of animal cruelty by three French NGOs.

Source: The Guardian

Marineland Antibes Reopens

March 21, 1916

© Reuters

An animal park in Southern France reopened its doors this Monday, March 21, five months after the terrible weather that caused many deaths among its animals. He was then the subject of various scandals: the death of a killer whale and watercourse pollution accusations surrounding (and therefore also the basins of the park). In addition, the current climate is rather tense for animal shows and captivity of orcas.

Marineland was therefore forced some changes. The new director of the park, Arnaud Palu states “this opening is an opportunity for a fresh start with three essential missions: conservation, education and research.” A teaching team is dedicated to the public “The idea is simple: to ensure that people who come here leave in aillant learned something.”, Adds the director.

A complete overhaul of all the performances with animals was performed. “The performances are based much more on the emotional, with fairly powerful music. We will discover the animal through closer behavior of their behavior in the wild,” explains Arnaud Palu.

A soundtrack different does enough happiness to these captive animals?


Marineland France vows to continue breeding

Marineland Antibes vows to continue breeding in light of SeaWorld’s announcement to end their breeding program.

Marineland Antibes had been working with SeaWorld to breed their sole breeding female, Wiki, with SeaWorld males using A.I. technology. Wiki’s first calf, Moana, was conceived by A.I. using sperm from Ulises, an adult male at SeaWorld California.

Marineland is still closed after storms flooded the park with mud several months ago. They lost Wiki’s half brother Valintin shortly after the storm October 12, 2015. That leaves Antibes with one female and three related males, her brother Inouk and two sons Moana and Keijo. To continue breeding their whales Antibes would have to either potentially inbreed their whales or work with other parks to swap genetic material for A.I.

Hopefully SeaWorld’s end on breeding will include a stop to sharing of genetic material with other parks. That leaves only one option for Marineland, to work with Kamogawa SeaWorld. There are still the Russian caught orca in China and Russia but it is doubtful they will be trained in A.I. any time soon. The whales in China aren’t even on display yet.

Source: British Divers Marine life Rescue