Marineland confirms walrus death, two deer killed in opening day stampede

Marineland has confirmed the death of walrus Apollo and said the 18-year-old animal had a heart attack.

Cillian O’BrienCTVNews.ca writer

@cillian_obrien

Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019 12:33PM EDT 

Controversial Canadian waterpark Marineland has announced the death of one of its walruses, days after “demonstrators” were blamed for causing a stampede that led to the deaths of two deer.

The tourist attraction in Niagara Falls, Ont. announced Apollo’s death on Tuesday, confirming the 18-year-old animal died of a heart attack in late April.

“Even with the immediate intervention of multiple medical marine mammal experts, we are sad to report that Apollo passed away,” a Marineworld release said.

“While the loss of Apollo is truly devastating for all of us who knew him, we are comforted in knowing he passed very quickly and without obvious pain.”

The park is now keeping a close eye on its last remaining walrus, Smooshi, which has been subject to “extensive additional checkups to confirm the status of her health.”

“Our team is providing her with additional enrichment and care while plans for her future at the park are finalized,” the park said.

“Smooshi continues to show her love and adoration for her favourite marine mammal trainers and appeared to be in good spirits when taking to the stage at Marineland’s educational presentation on Saturday’s opening day.”

Apollo is the fourth walrus to die at Marineland in two years.

Zeus died of natural causes on Boxing Day last year. Another walrus, Buttercup, died in the winter of 2017/18.

Female walrus Sonja died suddenly in May 2017 from a rare abdominal aneurysm, the park said.

Two deer killed in stampede

Meanwhile, Marineland said it had its busiest opening day in a decade, despite protests from animal rights groups.

The park claims two men deliberately started a deer stampede Saturday, resulting in the deaths of two of the animals.

“These individuals laughed in the face of staff as they tried to get them to stop,” a Marineland statement said.

“They refused all instruction by staff and resisted efforts to remove them from the Deer Park. We are all upset by this terrible act against innocent animals.

“In order to protect our animals, we are closing the Deer Park to make modifications to prevent this type of incident from ever happening again.”

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has called for an overhaul to provincial animal welfare legislation, which it says is failing animals kept in captivity for commercial gain.

“The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has formed a task force dedicated to developing ‎new provincial animal welfare legislation that reflects the need for both greater protection and social justice for animals,” the charity said in a statement.

“The task force is reviewing the need for animals to be recognized under law as sentient beings to acknowledge their ability to feel, to have subjective experiences and to be treated accordingly, rather than as property.”

Zebras, lions, kangaroos among exotic animals seized at Quebec zoo

Owner of St-Édouard Zoo facing charges of neglect and cruelty to animals

Sophie Gaillard, animal advocacy director with the Montreal SPCA, speaks to reporters after the arrest of the owner of the Zoo St-Édouard, in central Quebec, on Tuesday. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)
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A zoo owner in central Quebec is facing criminal charges after roughly 100 animals were seized at a facility in Saint-Édouard-de-Maskinongé.

Normand Trahan was arrested Tuesday morning by SPCA investigators, with the assistance of provincial police, on charges of animal neglect and cruelty.

If found guilty, Trahan could face up to five years in prison and a lifetime ban on owning an animal.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time in Canada that a zoo owner is facing criminal animal cruelty charges,” said Sophie Gaillard, animal advocacy director with the Montreal SPCA.

It is also the first time in Quebec that animal cruelty charges have been laid by way of indictment under the federal Criminal Code, Gaillard said, which opens the door to harsher penalties than under provincial laws.

Several primates are among the animals that will be transferred to animal sanctuaries across North America. (Submitted by Humane Society International/Canada)

“We’re really pleased that this file is being taken seriously by the prosecutors involved,” she said at a news conference at the zoo on Tuesday.

The animals found at the St-Édouard Zoo, about 120 kilometres north of Montreal, include lions, tigers, zebras, camels, kangaroos and bears.

Flags raised in 2018

The SPCA said it started investigating after a visitor called them in 2018.

“We received a complaint from the public and conducted a thorough investigation that led us to discover other pieces of evidence,” said Gaillard.

Two alpacas were seized in October 2018, following an initial inspection the previous August. Four animal carcasses, including those of two tigers, were also found, as well as the bodies of two birds.

Before 2015, the zoo only featured nordic animals like wolves. (Submitted by HSI/Canada)

Humane Society International (HSI), a non-profit organization, is tasked with caring for the remaining animals and finding them new homes.

SPCA and HSI employees have spent the day going around the zoo to take inventory of the living conditions.

“Some animals didn’t have access to water and proper food,” said Ewa Demianowicz, senior campaign manager with HSI/Canada.

“Some animals needed veterinary care, so these are not conditions that we usually see in zoos,” said Demianowicz.

So far, none of the animals were found to be in “imminent danger,” but it will take weeks to transfer them to other sanctuaries in the HSI network, in Canada and in the United States.

Quebec zoo owner Normand Trahan, pictured in 2017, could face up to five years in prison on charges of animal cruelty and neglect. (Josée Ducharme/Radio-Canada)

“This is without a doubt the most complex animal rescue we’ve undertaken in Canada,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI/Canada.

The costs of the operation are partially being covered by the Eric S. Margolis Family Foundation, which supports wildlife advocacy organizations.

Multiple infractions

The St-Édouard Zoo had been fined in the past for breaching Quebec’s wildlife protection laws.

The Ministry of Wildlife, which is responsible for issuing permits to zoos, could not confirm at this time whether Trahan had the proper permits to run an exotic zoo.

Quebec’s business registry lists the zoo as a breeding facility for livestock and poultry.

HSI/Canada said so far, the animals found at the zoo were not in “imminent danger.” (Submitted by HSI/Canada)

According to Radio-Canada, it had been for sale for several years because Trahan wanted to retire.

The 69-year-old appeared at the Trois-Rivières courthouse Tuesday afternoon and was released on a promise to appear June 21.

His lawyer, Michel Lebrun, said Trahan has always collaborated with officials and was planning to open the zoo this week.

“As far as I know, he has had the proper permits with the Ministry of Wildlife and the MAPAQ [Quebec’s food and agriculture inspection agency] for the past 30 years,” said Lebrun.

Trahan took over the property in 1989 when it was known as the Centre d’Observation de la Faune.

According to the zoo’s website, visitors can see up to 100 species of exotic animals, including lions, tigers, baboons and leopards.

A flamingo in an Illinois zoo had to be put down after a child threw a rock at it

This file photo shows a flamingo at a zoo in Duisburg, western Germany.

(CNN)A Miller Park Zoo flamingo was euthanized Monday after an elementary school student threw a rock inside the animal’s exhibit.

A representative from the Bloomington, Illinois zoo told CNN affiliate WMBD the rock broke the flamingo’s leg and caused injuries that led to it being put down.
The zoo said it’s working with the student’s family to make sure this is a learning experience, WMBD reported.
The greater flamingo exhibit at the zoo opened in June 2016, according to the city of Bloomington.
According to the University of Michigan, greater flamingos are found in the Middle East in countries like Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan, as well as in areas across west Africa, South America and throughout Europe. They’re often hunted across the Middle East and Africa and their eggs are often captured for profit.
They can live up to an average of 30 years, according to the university with those in captivity sometimes reaching 60 years old.
The zoo has both indoor and outdoor exhibits of animals including reindeer, the Sumatran tiger, river otters, red pandas, lemurs, bald eagles, gibbons and red wolves, according to its website.

Marineland, Vancouver Aquarium shipping beluga whales out of the country

Two major Canadian tourist attractions are sending beluga whales outside the country as a new federal law looms that would ban exports on marine mammals, The Canadian Press has learned.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada said it has approved permits for Marineland to move two belugas from the Niagara Falls, Ont., facility to Oceanografic in Valencia, Spain. The Vancouver Aquarium says it owns the two marine mammals that are being cared for by Marineland, and operates the Spanish park where they’re being transferred.

“These two aquarium-born belugas will receive exceptional care at Oceanografic, where they will join a small social grouping of whales already in care there,” Vancouver Aquarium said in a statement, adding that the deal would not cost the Spanish facility any money.

Marineland has also applied to move five more belugas to the United States, but neither Fisheries nor Marineland would divulge where in the U.S. they’re headed if the permits are approved.

“Our Marine Mammal Welfare Committee, which includes independent, accredited experts, recently recommended that Marineland Canada re-home some of our beluga whales to accommodate belugas we expect to be born in 2019 and 2020,” Marineland said in a statement.

“Relocations to the United States are being undertaken to ensure that the best care possible is provided for our beluga whales.”

Neither facility would identify which belugas were being moved, nor how long the two facilities had this arrangement.

The moves come as a new bill banning whale and dolphin captivity is nearing law — its third reading in the House of Commons is set for debate next week.

“Our government agrees that the capture of cetaceans for the sole purpose of being kept for public display should be ended,” said Jocelyn Lubczuk, a spokeswoman for Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

The bill bans imports and exports of the mammals with exceptions only for scientific research or “if it is in the best interest” of the animal, with discretion left up to the minister, thereby clamping down on the marine mammal trade.

It will also change the Criminal Code, creating new animal cruelty offences related to the captivity of cetaceans. It also bans breeding.

The bill includes a grandfather clause for those animals already in facilities in Canada and permits legitimate research, as well as the rescue of animals in distress.

Both Marineland and Vancouver Aquarium said the anti-captivity bill had nothing to do with their decisions to move the whales.

“The decision to move them was made in their best interest, not because of politics,” the Vancouver Aquarium said.

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation passed a bylaw amendment in 2017 banning cetaceans being brought to or kept in city parks after two beluga whales held at the aquarium died. The aquarium, which is located in Stanley Park, announced last year that it would phase out whale and dolphin display.

There are currently no whales at the Vancouver Aquarium.

“We do not believe that the passage of (the bill) will impact Marineland Canada’s ability to do what is right for our whales in the years to come,” Marineland said.

Marineland, which has more than 50 belugas, has taken issue with the breeding ban. The facility said in a letter to the fisheries minister that the park would be in contravention of the Criminal Code when the bill comes into force because some belugas are pregnant and set to give birth this summer after the bill becomes law.

“There is no easy or thoroughly effective birth control medication for beluga whales,” Marineland wrote in March. “In order to control breeding by Bill S-203, existing social family groups must be separated.”

The park wants more time to ensure it is in compliance with the law.

The United States is considering similar legislation and France has banned the captivity of all whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Elephants Live Longer in the Wild, Study Shows

Elephants have a much longer lifespan in the wild than in captivity, according to a new study from Science.

The study, which compared female African elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park with those in zoos, found that the wild elephants lived three times as long on average, surviving to a median age of 56 years compared with 17 years for elephants living in captivity. The findings were similar for Asian elephants kept in captivity to support the logging industry.

Common health problems for elephants in zoos include herpes, tuberculosis, arthritis, and obesity. The effect of captivity on this highly intelligent, social and wide-ranging species also likely has psychological effects, as sometimes evidenced by unusual aggressiveness or repetitive behaviors.

The findings of this study highlight the importance of implementing conservation strategies that ensure elephants and other species have the space and resources they need to thrive. Through its Africa Heartland Program, AWF works to combine parks, private lands and community areas into large conservation landscapes that give elephants and other wildlife the room they need to thrive. It is our belief that such large-landscape conservation is the soundest strategy for securing the future of Africa’s magnificent wildlife across the continent.

To read more about AWF’s elephant conservation work, click here.

To read learn more about elephants, click here.

678 birds released from traps, nets and illegal aviaries in 10 weeks – CABS

Baseball-Size Hail Kills Zoo Animals In Colorado

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hail-zoo-colorado_us_5b69a10ae4b0de86f4a552d3

The massive Colorado Springs hailstorm injured more than a dozen people and damaged hundreds of cars.
X

A powerful hailstorm swept through parts of Colorado on Monday, injuring 14 people, killing two zoo animals and damaging hundreds of cars.

The massive storm, which produced baseball-sized hail in some parts, prompted an evacuation at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs as the area was pummeled with chunks of ice.

By the time the storm had passed, the zoo, which remained closed on Tuesday due to the destruction, estimated that nearly 400 cars in its parking lot were severely damaged. Two birds on exhibit died from trauma.

One of two bears (left) is seen attempting to dodge hail as it pounded the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs on Monda

STORYFUL
One of two bears (left) is seen attempting to dodge hail as it pounded the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs on Monday.

“One animal was Daisy, a 4-year-old muscovy duck. The other animal was 13-year-old cape vulture, Motswari,” the zoo said in a Facebook post.

Colorado Springs police reported that five people were transported from the zoo to hospitals for injuries. Nine others were treated at the scene and released.

“It was crazy. The zoo, when we came out of there, literally it looked like a tornado came through,” Danielle Fillis, 47, who was visiting the zoo with her husband, told the Colorado Springs Gazette. Their car was totalled, she said, and their legs were slashed by glass broken by the hail.

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“There were trees down, the whole walkway was covered in debris and animals were making a lot of noise,” Fillis added.

Brandon Sneide, who said he was a member of Colorado’s National Guard who had been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, said he saw one woman at the zoo covered in blood.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

CSFD PIO@CSFDPIO

an idea of some of damage to vehicles at the zoo today.

The back window of a car that was smashed by hail on Monday in the Broadmoor area of Colorado Springs is seen.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
The back window of a car that was smashed by hail on Monday in the Broadmoor area of Colorado Springs is seen.

“It was traumatic. It sounded like being in a war zone, like being in Iraq. It was scary,” Sneide told the paper.

Hailstorms are not unusual in this part of the country in the summer, according to weather experts.

“Colorado, you get hit all the time with hail, but it was a little bit larger than most hailstorms,” Pamela Evenson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo, Colorado, told HuffPost on Tuesday. “Colorado has one of the highest hail rates in the country, unfortunately.”

NWS Pueblo

@NWSPueblo

GOES-16 visible satellite imagery shows the evolution of the severe thunderstorm that produced very large hail across El Paso and Pueblo counties on August 6.

In June, areas in and around Colorado Springs and Fountain were pounded by another hailstorm that caused an estimated $169 million in insured damages, according to Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. 

That storm was reported as the worst overnight storm in El Paso County in more than 20 years.

Sara Pilot, left, looks at the hail damage to her father's car outside of her home in Louisville, Colorado, on June 19.

HELEN H. RICHARDSON VIA GETTY IMAGES
Sara Pilot, left, looks at the hail damage to her father’s car outside of her home in Louisville, Colorado, on June 19.

“A bunch of people had already gotten their homes fixed, got new cars after their cars were totaled and then had the same thing happen again,” Evenson said of those residents. “It’s terrible.”

In late June, areas in and around Boulder saw baseball-sized hail that destroyed cars, rooftops and solar panels.

Heavy thunderstorms and possible severe hail were forecast for the area of Boulder again on Tuesday. Pueblo was also forecast to see thunderstorms and potential flash floods, according to the National Weather Service.

Kangaroo Dies After Visitors At Chinese Zoo Hurl Rocks To Force Her To Jump

April 20, 2018

One kangaroo was killed and another injured at a zoo in southeast China
after visitors to their enclosure
<http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-20/kangaroo-dies-in-chinese-zoo-after-vi
sitors-throw-rocks/9682220> pelted the animals with rocks and other objects
in an apparent attempt to get the kangaroos to hop around. The abuse has
sparked fury online and prompted renewed scrutiny into the
<http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2100775/chinas-terrible-zoos
-and-why-theyre-still-thriving> mistreatment of animals at Chinese zoos,
several of which have gained notoriety in recent years for cramped and cruel
conditions.

Zookeepers at the Fuzhou Zoo in Fujian Province
<http://www.hxnews.com/news/fj/fz/201804/19/1500695.shtml> told the Haixia
Metropolis News this week that at least one visitor threw “multiple”
sharp-edged rocks at a 12-year-old female kangaroo in March to compel her to
jump, leaving her badly injured and in “deep pain.” She died a few days
later of profuse internal bleeding, her caretakers said.

A 5-year-old male kangaroo in the same enclosure was reportedly also injured
last month after a visitor threw part of a brick at him. The younger
kangaroo was not seriously hurt.

“Some adult [visitors] see the kangaroos sleeping and then pick up stones to
throw at them,” a Fuzhou Zoo attendant told the Haixia Metropolis News.
“Even after we cleared all the stones from the display area, they went
elsewhere to find them. It’s abhorrent.”

Pics of the bricks that visitors hurled at kangaroos at the zoo in Fujian,
killing one and injuring another. Zoo staff say visitors often throw objects
at animals despite it being ‘prohibited’.

– Bill Birtles (@billbirtles)
<https://twitter.com/billbirtles/status/987263932636151808> 5:37 AM – Apr
20, 2018

12-year-old kangaroo at zoo in eastern China died after being stoned by
visitors hoping to make it hop <https://t.co/HyrP46HQij>
http://ow.ly/sfAs30jArZe

– Sixth Tone (@SixthTone)
<https://twitter.com/SixthTone/status/987243239941050370> 4:15 AM – Apr 20,
2018

Netizens in China and elsewhere have
<https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/20/world/asia/china-kangaroo-zoo-death.html
> expressed their horror at the behavior of the stone-hurling visitors.

The Metropolis News <http://szb.mnw.cn/2018/0420/1368203.shtml> said on
Friday that their social media pages were flooded with readers’ angry
comments, with many calling for visitors who mistreat animals to be
“blacklisted” from zoos.

The Fuzhou Zoo said it had
<http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201804/20/WS5ad93d28a3105cdcf6519721.html>
applied for funding to install high-definition surveillance cameras to
better identify perpetrators. They added that now only three kangaroos would
be on display to reduce the risks to the animals.

Several Chinese zoos have made headlines in recent years for mistreatment of
animals. Last year, visitors were horrified when a
<https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/wildlife-watch-china-donkey-tig
ers-zoo/> live donkey was fed to tigers at a so-called safari park near
Shanghai. In 2016, hundreds of thousands of people called for the
<https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/worlds-saddest-zoo-grandview-aquarium_
us_578c8b3be4b03fc3ee514af2> closure of Guangzhou’s Grandview Aquarium,
dubbed the “saddest zoo in the world,” after photos of the facility’s barren
enclosures went viral.

Such incidents have increased concerns in China about the country’s lack of
comprehensive
<http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/article/2050730/chinas-growing-animal-rights
movement-calling-change> animal welfare laws.

Without such legislation, “we can only try to persuade people using common
sense and referring to animal welfare laws in Western countries,” Tong
Yanfang, an animal welfare advocate,
<http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2100775/chinas-terrible-zoos
-and-why-theyre-still-thriving> told the South China Morning Post last year.

“For children and many adults who lack judgment, a wrong perception has been
built [in China] that animals are there for the entertainment of humans,”
Tong said. “When they see animals perform in a zoo, they won’t consider how
the animals acquired those skills.”

. This article originally appeared on
<https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kangaroo-china-dies-throw-rocks_us_5ad
a572ce4b00a1849cf477d?ncid=edlinkushpmg00000313> HuffPost.

Avian flu restrictions at Cotswold Wildlife Park gave the birds another type of fever… the love bug!

 http://www.banburycake.co.uk/news/15241796.Avian_flu_restrictions_at_wildlife_park_gave_the_birds_another_type_of_fever___/

12 hrs ago / by Pete Hughes

LONG periods in close confinement can have strange effects on people, and, in the case of the birds at Cotswold Wildlife Park, the results were rather surprising.

Park keepers were forced to lock up hundreds of tropical and exotic birds in December under nationwide avian flu precautions issued by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

That meant Cotswold Wildlife Park, like farmers in Oxfordshire and across the county, had to keep all birds indoors until further notice.

When the restrictions were finally lifted this month park keepers started unlocking cages only to discover the long period in close quarters had seemingly created a romantic mood, and several species had begun breeding.

As a result the Bird Walkthrough at Cotswold’s Walled Garden, home to the scarlet ibis, Bali starlings and others will remain closed until further notice.

Curator Jamie Craig explained: “Following the news from Defra that avian influenza restrictions have now been lifted, the tropical house and lake area are once again open to visitors. We remain vigilant and are prepared to take action should the situation change.

“The Bird Walkthrough in the Walled Garden remains closed as several bird species started to breed during the time of the recent restrictions. As not to disturb the breeding birds at this delicate stage, the enclosure is currently closed but is fully visible to visitors.”

The avian flu restrictions came in after the disease was detected in more than 5,000 birds on a poultry farm near Louth in Lincolnshire.

It was the first confirmed case in Britain of the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain, which had already been circulating in countries across Europe, from Poland to France.

DEFRA announced on April 11 that all poultry was to be once again allowed out as of the 13th

UK chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens said that while the H5N8 strain of bird flu which caused more than 1,000 outbreaks across Europe over winter may remain in the environment, the danger of cross-contamination had subsided.

A ban on gatherings of poultry, such as pure breed showings, remains in place until further notice.

It’s especially good timing for Cotswold Wildlife Park as the the new came just in time to celebrate World Penguin Day

LEBANON’S LUCRATIVE TRADE IN WILD ANIMALS