On Monday, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) filed six charges of animal cruelty against Niagara Falls, ON-based tourist attraction Marineland. Following a November investigation, the animal welfare organization found that the park routinely neglected and failed to provide the standard of care for elk, red deer, and fallow deer held at its facilities. These charges come in addition to those filed by OSPCA last month wherein the organization found five other counts of cruelty at the park in relation to distressed peacocks, guinea pigs, and black bears. The investigation was prompted by a 35-page report—which contained photographs and videos of animal abuse at Marineland—submitted to the OSCPA by California-based animal rights group Last Change for Animals. Representatives of Marineland will appear in court on January 26, and should the park be found guilty of all 11 charges, it will be fined $60,000, incur a two-year jail sentence for responsible parties, and be banned from keeping animals indefinitely. Actions against facilities such as Marineland bring to light the inherent cruelty of holding wild animals in captivity and exploiting them for entertainment. Perhaps one of the most harrowing examples of this is the recent death of Tilikum at SeaWorld, an orca made famous by documentary Blackfish who was held captive for 33 years.
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