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Marineland Animal Welfare: Canadian Association Of Zoos And Aquariums Says Park Not Yet In The Clear

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MARINELAND
Tourists line up at a viewing area to see two Marineland attractions, a Killer Whale calf swimnming with its mother and a small pod of Beluga Whales in Niagara Falls, Ont. on Wednesday July 18, 2001. (CP PHOTO/Scott Dunlop) | CP

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. - The Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums says it is still in the process of investigating allegations concerning Marineland Canada.

The amusement park issued a release Thursday that said experts from CAZA and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had conducted a joint inspection and found no "major issues" at the Niagara Falls, Ont., facility.

An investigation was launched after a series of published reports in which former Marineland staff alleged that animals were not being properly cared for.

Marineland said the CAZA experts noted there were "some eye issues in a few animals," but most were related to old age and all of these animals were under veterinary care.

CAZA director Bill Peters, however, says his association's investigation is ongoing, and the results have yet to be submitted to the CAZA Accreditation Commission for review.

In a release issued Friday, Peters says the process will likely take about a week, at which time a decision will be rendered.

Dr. June Mergl, head of veterinary services at Marineland, has said the allegations of the former staffers were without context, and that maintaining the welfare of the animals was a "balancing act."

Marineland is home to a variety of creatures, including beluga whales, dolphins and orcas.

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