Apr 112016

Environmental campaigners have said they are taking legal action against a French marine park over the treatment of its orca whales and other animals after a number were killed during a storm.

Marineland in Antibes reopened a week ago after suffering severe damage in deadly storms that struck the Côte d’Azur in southern France in October.

Many animals and fish at the park died, including Valentin, a 19-year-old orca that succumbed to internal injuries a week later.

An employee trains orcas at Marineland on the Côte d’Azur. The park has separately been accused of cruelty. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

The park was deluged with mud, killing sharks, sea lions and turtles, because it was left without electricity to pump in clean water.

Sea Shepherd, an international NGO, organised a protest attended by about 250 people outside the park on Sunday. It said the orca enclosures remained highly unsatisfactory and that the animals should never have been subjected to such danger.

Members of animal rights group Peta dress up as orcas holding placards reading: ‘Free prisoners from Marineland’. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

Its founder, Paul Watson, said: “We are against the keeping of orca whales in captivity because it is simply not where they should be.”

There has been growing global opposition to keeping orcas, also known as killer whales, in captivity, particularly since the release in 2013 of Blackfish, a documentary on the treatment of orcas at SeaWorld in the US.

SeaWorld announced earlier this month that it would no longer breed captive orcas and that the current generation would effectively be its last.

Sea Shepherd has lodged a legal complaint against Marineland, claiming that the park mistreats its animals and pollutes the local environment. The NGO expects a first hearing to be held in September.

The park denies charges of mistreatment and said in a statement on Sunday that “the conditions of wellbeing of the marine mammals are carefully and strictly controlled by several organisations, as well as European and international regulations.”

Marineland is already subject to a preliminary investigation following complaints of animal cruelty by three French NGOs.

This article was first published by The Guardian on 27 Mar 2016.

We invite you to share your opinion whether orcas and dolphins should be kept in captivity? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page:

Should orcas and dolphins be kept in captivity?

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Kazz Bradders

What do you think the orcas and dolphins would say? And when there's none left?

Wes Lee

Only if they are sick and need our assistance with recovering or if they are about to become an extinct species and they need to be held in captivity for breeding purposes and then released. Otherwise, no!

Katharina Mona

NO !!!! They belong in the ocean …. Stop this cruelty !

Carmen Seath

Cruel and inhumane.

Flore Theirin

Let keep you in jail to protect you from terrorists then.

Daryl Stillwell

Treat ALL as you would treat yourself ! Simple as that !

Lajos Vas

watch latest alert newws in usa about having Oarkas in their SeaWorld zoo. it is amqazing news . SeaWorld will folow the measure of animal righs and free all.

Jetty Brandsma


Kathleen Haase

Orcas and other dolphins should be considered non-human persons with rights to bodily liberty, freedom of choice and self-determination. Their confinement is fundamentally wrong and the 50 year history of cetaceans in confinement has shown that they suffer from stress, boredom, anxiety and depression in captivity. How can we allow such inhumane treatment to continue?

Patricia Malherbe

Aucun animal ne mérite d'être condamné à passer sa vie durant dans une prison.

Yvonne Leemkuil

They belong in the ocean……..

Bernard Shen

La place des cétacés est dans la mer, et pas dans les prisons que sont ces bassins, et autres delphinarium.
Rendez leur la liberté en mer.

Wendé Anne Maunder

No creature on this planet should be kept in captivity for moronic humans to gawp at.

Judith Nelson
When I want to vote, and scroll to the bottom of the article to do so, the yes dot is usually at the top, above the no dot, but the words "yes" and "no" are black and unreadable. So with this poll, I placed my vote "no" in the second spot, which I took to be the "no" spot. But when the voting lines came up, the "no" line was at the top. I WANTED TO VOTE NO, and I hope that I selected the correct dot. Could you please make sure that the dots for voting are visibly marked?
Gaye Horn

One word…NO

Darren Jessup

I don't personally like the thought of orcas and dolphins being kept in captivity the same as any animal the belongs in the wild but the one good thing about animals being in captivity is that they are safe from all the scum that want to hunt these animals off the earth !

Mars Greenwood


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