Philip Demers
Philip Demers (aka "The Walrus Whisperer") (born March 21, 1978 in Welland, Ontario) was a professional marine mammal trainer at Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He is best known for his unique relationship with a captive walrus named Smooshi.

Demers’ animal training career began in 2000 at Marineland of Canada where he was employed until August 2012. In 2007, Demers became the focus of mass media attention regarding his unique relationship with a captive Pacific walrus named Smooshi. Their relationship garnered the attention of such television programs as CBC’s The National, Inside Edition, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Demers left his position at Marineland citing allegations of negligent treatment of the animals and unhealthy conditions.

Demers was a contestant on Wipeout Canada, becoming the winner of the first episode of the Canadian edition of the show.

Entries by Philip Demers

Bill 52 Won't Protect Past Whistleblowers Like Me

(4) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 6:29 PM

In 2012 I received a call from an investigative reporter asking for comment on my 12-year experience as a former employee of Marineland Canada. After much introspection and many sleepless nights, I obliged.

When all was said and done, 15 whistleblowers had stepped forward to speak about their experiences...

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At Marineland, I Watched These Seals Suffer

(2) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 5:55 PM

Consistent with most transfers of sea animals I've known of or experienced while working at Marineland, I'm certain this one happened during the wee hours.

There were the telltale signs the day before. Our supervisor would become evasive and silent. Then there was the dead giveaway.

We'd check...

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As a Former Marineland Trainer, I Can Tell You That Dolphins Feel

(7) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 5:41 PM

The largest dolphin roundup in recent history has come to an end in Taiji, Japan, as the "lucky ones" not selected for captivity or slaughter have been driven back to sea in the same fashion that they were first corralled into the infamous killing cove.

All said,

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How Fixing Marineland Could Fix Niagara's Economy

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2012 | 1:00 AM

The spotlight is on, the microscope calibrated, and the issues are in clear focus.

The results of the Ontario Society for the Protection of Animals investigation into Marineland, and any follow-up charges or action regarding the documented and evident animal abuse case at Marineland will certainly define them. The...

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They're Out of the News, But Marineland's Animals Still Need You

(6) Comments | Posted September 13, 2012 | 1:00 AM

Marineland: Ontario's Farm of Games.

By now, you know all you need to about Marineland. You know that it's a house of horrors for the animals that live there.

You've seen the videos and photos. You've heard the disturbing first-hand accounts. You've attended rallies...

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Why I Left Marineland, and My Beloved Walrus Smooshi

(11) Comments | Posted September 6, 2012 | 9:49 AM

What drives you? My simple answer is Smooshi the walrus. Back in 2004 the 200lb, 18-month-old wild caught Pacific walrus came to Marineland in a tiny wooden box after a long journey from Russia in very poor health. This wasn't my first experience of having "green" animals come...

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