Media Releases

Marineland ‘House of Horrors’ Claims the Lives of Two More Whales

Animal Justice is incredibly saddened to learn from Canadian Press reports that two more beluga whales have died at Marineland. Including the two new deaths, 17 whales have died at the notorious Niagara Falls tourist attraction since 2019.  This number includes Kiska, an orca whale who tragically died at Marineland in March, 2023 after suffering for over 40 years in a tank, and over a decade in solitary confinement.

“It is shocking and absolutely heartbreaking that belugas continue to die at Marineland and the company is not being held to account,” said Kaitlyn Mitchell, director of legal advocacy with Animal Justice. “Time and time again, Animal Justice has called on provincial law enforcement authorities to take action to improve the health and well-being of animals at this notorious facility, yet belugas continue to suffer and die in barren tanks.”  

Earlier this month, Marineland was convicted of offences under Ontario’s animal welfare laws for its treatment of three young bears. While it was the first animal welfare conviction for Marineland, the park has been charged repeatedly with offences related to animal cruelty.

In 2016, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) charged Marineland with five counts of animal cruelty, involving black bears, guinea hens, and a peacock. In 2017, six additional charges were added for mistreatment of elk and deer, but the Crown later dropped them.

In 2021, Marineland faced criminal charges for coercing dolphins into performing, prompted by a complaint from Animal Justice. Again, the charge was dropped, with the Crown citing a lack of “public interest” in trial.

In 2021 and 2022, Animal Justice filed complaints with Animal Welfare Services (AWS) after videos showed Kiska, the sole orca, in distress—floating aimlessly and slamming her body against the tank. Despite this, AWS has not pressed charges.

Since 2021, there have been reports that Marineland is set to be sold.  Rumours have surfaced again this week, though the facility denies it is imminently closing its doors.

“Whether Marineland continues to operate in its current form, or is sold to new owners who are not interested in the animal captivity business, we cannot turn a blind eye as the remaining belugas continue to die off one by one,” said Ms. Mitchell. “This house of horrors has operated with impunity for far too long.”



Josh Lynn

Public Relations Manager

[email protected]