||This article may contain improper references to self-published sources. (June 2009)|
Official logo of MarineLand
|Slogan||Everyone loves Marineland|
|Location||Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada|
|Previous names||Marine Wonderland and Animal Park, Marineland and Game Farm|
|Operating season||May – October|
Marineland (official name Marineland of Canada Inc.) is a themed amusement and animal exhibition park in the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Owing to its proximity to the falls and other natural park areas and its blend of animal attractions and rides, it is one of the main tourist destinations in Niagara Falls, Canada.
The park was founded by John Holer, a Slovenian immigrant who had worked for circuses in Europe before coming to Canada in the late 1950s. It first opened in 1961 as "Marine Wonderland and Animal Farm". Holer welded two large steel tanks together and brought in three sea lions and charged one quarter for admission and another to feed the animals. The attraction also featured an underwater show featuring two female swimmers. In 1964 Holer added two dolphins, along with a few other animals and the attraction became known as "Marineland And Game Farm". By 1966, a 2,000 seat "aquatheatre" was completed along with a "grotto" of aquariums and shops. In the 1970s Kandu the killer whale became the park's major attraction, the "And Game Farm" part of the name was dropped. Although it was still referred to as "Marineland And Game Farm" until the mid-1980s in television and radio advertisements. It was also around this time that the park began adding rides such as Dragon Mountain to encourage teenagers and younger children.
Marineland has plans for a 20-acre (81,000 m2) aquarium complex featuring a shark exhibit, dolphin habitat, ocean reef and freshwater fish. A five-kilometre boat ride on a man-made river and a five-kilometre wilderness steam locomotive train ride are also planned. On these rides, wild animals will be viewed in expansive natural settings.
Although the boat ride and locomotive ride were to be completed over 20 years ago, plans still exist to complete these attractions.
- Locker, stroller and wheelchair rentals.
- Allows picnicking and has a corporate area for picnics.
- Offers live musical entertainment with Polka Legend Walter Ostanek performing daily during the peak season.
- Friendship Cove: The world's largest whale habitat for viewing orcas above ground and below. Until the 2006 season, guests were able to pet and feed the killer whales. 'Splash Sessions' have now replaced the interactive sessions in response to guest feedback. The 'Splash Sessions' include the whales jumping and splashing the guests around the walls of the pool. Friendship Cove currently holds one orca: Kiska (female, approx. 36 years-her actual age) . Upon the 2009 opening season, ten belugas from Arctic Cove have been moved into Friendship Cove. According to Marineland's website, due to the loss of Ikaika, who was transferred back to SeaWorld in fall of 2011, it's suggested that there are no more Splash Sessions, just underwater viewing for Marineland's only orca, Kiska.
Tank arrangements are: Front Tank: 12: Rain, Rose, Meeka, Horus, Jellybean, Tuk, Burnaby, Eve and Osiris. Neva, Mira and Charlotte were recently transferred to Friendship Cove, and reside in the shallow area of FC. Side Tank: Kiska Orca Back/Medical Tank: Currently Open
- Arctic Cove: Opened in 2004, features beluga whales, it is much like Friendship Cove allowing guests to view belugas above and below ground. Guests also have the opportunity to pet and feed the beluga whales for a fee. These interaction sessions occur throughout the day. Marineland currently holds the world record of 41 beluga whales total in their exhibits, both wild and captive born whales in Arctic Cove, King Waldorf Theatre and Friendship Cove. They do not use any assistive reproduction methods, only natural conception since 2002, with 25 births, with 17 currently alive, 4 residing in the US, making the park the best for beluga breeding and care. Current female beluga whales include: Jubilee, Xena, Eve, Isis, Osiris, Kelowna, Sierra, Skyla, Charmin, Peanut, Oceanna, Caspian, Gemini, Cleopatra, Peekachu, Rain, Acadia, Aurora, Talia, Secord, Lillooet, Rose, Meeka, Mira, Charlotte, Qila, Skyla's calf 2011 and Lillooet's calf 2012. Unfortunately, in May 2012, Skyla's calf succumbed to its injuries in the arms of trainers after being attacked by two adult beluga males that it shared a tank with. Males: Orion, Burnaby, Tuk, Andre, Belyi, Tofino, Horus, Kodiak, Tank and Sierra's calf 2012. The gender of Jubilee's calf of 2011 is still currently unknown. 2011 births include a female calf to Skyla on August 25, a male calf named Tank to Acadia on August 30, a stillbirth to Caspian on September 26, and a calf of unknown gender to Jubilee on October 13–14. 2012 births include a male calf born to Sierra June 11, 2012, a females calf born to Lillooet June 17, 2012 with 2 others pregnant : Gemini and Xena.
Tank arrangements are: Arctic Cove: Front Tank: 13: Isis & Qila, Cleo, Andre, Peanut, Peekachu, Secord, Kodiak, Orion, Aurora, Caspian, Kelowna and Oceanna Side Tank: 13: Skyla & calf, Jubilee & calf, Sierra and calf, Acadia and Tank, Lillooet and calf, Talia, Gemini(pregnant), Xena ( Pregnant), Belyi Medical Tank: Open
- The King Waldorf Stadium Show: Featuring mainly sea lions, walrus and bottlenose dolphins, and soon belugas. The King Waldorf Stadium Show includes dolphins jumping in the air and sea lions with comedy.
Belugas: Tofino & Charmin Dolphins: Tsunami, Echo, Lida, Sonar and Marina Sealions Ladies: Rotational between the 8(Coral, Surfer, Tide, Holly, Malibu, Sydney, Maui, Cleveland) Walruses: Buttercup, Apollo and Smooshi
- Aquarium Dome: This tank is now a retirement centre for the elderly sea lions.
Harbor Seals: Curry, Poppy, Baby Sealions: Baker, Sandy, Pebbles Grey Seal: Delphine
- Warehouse: This area is a 4 quadron tank area, being larger than Aquarium Dome and King Waldorf Theatre. Marineland has several animals off exhibit from King Waldorf Theatre.
Harbor Seals: Pepper, Rolo, Squamish, Larry Sealions: Coral, Surfer, Tide, Holly, Malibu, Sydney, Maui, Cleveland Grey Seal: Jack Walruses: Apollo, Smooshi, Sonja, Zeus, Pandora, Buttercup Dolphins(winter): Lida, Echo, Tsunami, Sonar, Marina
- Other Animals: Marineland has many animals throughout the park that are not cetaceans or pinnipeds. Marineland has carried over these animals from its days as a 'game farm'.
- Bears: an area featuring black bears sits below a viewing deck, where visitors can throw Corn Pops cereal (originally marshmallows) to them.
- Fallow deer: The deer are in a fenced in area which allow people to move about freely, food is provided for a fee.
- Fish: An area in which carp and koi gather around "deck bridges", allowing easy viewing and feeding (for a fee),
- Elk and Buffalo: allow for easy viewing of these creatures grazing. Feeding also available for a fee.
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- Dragon Mountain Roller Coaster: an Arrow Huss roller coaster which opened as the world's largest (not longest) non-stop roller coaster - covering 30 acres (1,300,000 sq ft). It features tunnels that lead to the queue area, has two consecutive vertical loops and the only bowtie loop of its kind in the world.
- Sky Hawk: a spinning ride which also moves vertically up and down. Features one- or two-person cages without restricting belts or harnesses.
- Wave Swinger: a swing ride with a moving top that allows the swings to move up and down. The first adult ride the park ever had.
- Lady Bug Coaster: children's roller coaster, features a lady bug cart.
- Tivoli Wheel: a "hanging" ferris wheel.
- Magic Experience: a spinning ride located near the bear area; features statues of bears on the ride.
- Kandu's Twister: Opened in 2002, this ride is a "teacup" style ride that features orcas on the sides of the cups.
- Space Avenger: a spinning ride that features a control panel in the cages allowing the rider to move vertically up and down.
- Dragon Boats: a simple carousel with a Viking boat theme.
- Flying Dragon a ride that offers thrills for a lot of ages, goes up into the air then falls back down without inversion.
- Hurricane Cove a generic Mack Sea Storm ride.
- Lee Corso's picks and mascot heads a dark ride with audio-animatronics of Lee Corso over the years. Guests ride past Lee Corso making college gameday picks over the years and of Corso wearing the mascot heads he wore over the years. A 50 foot plunge through a replica of Lee Corso's bathtub awaits the riders at the end
- Sky Screamer: Opened in 2004 and is the world's highest triple tower ride at 300 feet (91 m). It is situated on a 150-foot-tall (46 m) hill, making the total height of the ride 450 feet (140 m), which affords the rider an impressive view of the city and the falls. It is a recognizable landmark with the Marineland logo at the top clearly visible at night. Ascending riders experience 4G's, while descending riders experience a -2G's.
- Topple Tower: Opened in 2008 this ride has a circular gondola where the passengers sit, is elevated into the air and then starts spinning, and the tower rocks back and forth on a 60 degree angle, giving it a 30 degree angle with the ground, and its scenery features a walrus on top of the tower.
- Viking Adventure: Opened in 2006, it is a small sized Viking boat ride that operates on a track to rock passengers back and forth and spin them around.
- Orca Screamer: Opened in 2005, this is a miniature, child size one-tower version of the famous Sky Screamer.
- Bumble Bee: Opened in 2005, this brightly coloured children's ride allows parents and children to sit in a car together a be elevated and spun around.
- Ocean Odyssey: Opened in 2010, this family ride allows guests to sit in fish shaped cars that are attached to large arms. The ride spins in a circular motion while the arms move up and down.
Marineland and its owner John Holer have been involved in many controversies throughout the park's history. Most have centered around the concerns of animals rights activists and some politicians, who have expressed concerns about the treatment of animals at the park for many years.
In 1977, The U.S. Department of Fisheries seized six bottlenose dolphins that had been illegally caught by John Holer in the Gulf of Mexico.
In 2001, a member of Parliament, Libby Davies, tabled a private member's bill which aimed to ban the live-capture and trade of whales and dolphins. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans commissioned a scientific study, but Minister Herb Dhaliwal chose not to act on any of the recommendations.
In September 2011, SeaWorld won a court battle with Marineland over the fate of Ikaika The Killer Whale. Ikaika had been originally loaned to Marineland under the terms of a breeding loan agreement between the two organizations, but SeaWorld decided to terminate the agreement due to concerns about Ikaika's mental and physical well-being due to deteriorating conditions at the park. Marineland initially refused to return Ikaika, but was eventually ordered to by the Ontario Superior Court as well as pay $255,000 in compensation to SeaWorld for legal expenses.
On August 15, 2012, the Toronto Star published an article alleging that many sea mammals at Marineland live in inhumane conditions and suffer from a variety of illnesses caused by problems with water quality and chronic under-staffing. John Holer denied the allegations in the report, which was largely based on interviews conducted with former Marineland employees.
On September 10, 2012 the Toronto Star published an article quoting former Marineland supervisor Jim Hammond alleging that Marineland owner, John Holer, had shot one of the baby deer in his park through the windpipe with a 12-gauge shotgun, leaving it to choke on its blood without dying. Hammond claimed the park owner refused his pleas for humane euthanasia.
On December 20, 2012 the Ontario Ministry of the Environment announced an investigation into several mass animal graves at the park. The ministry had no previous knowledge of the graves, as Marineland lacks permits for such use.
On March 5, 2013, the Toronto Star published an article quoting Hammond and a local resident alleging that John Holer had shot two Labrador Retrievers that had escaped a neighbour's house and entered Marineland property. The article also mentioned that Hammond was told by Holer “to check if there were any collars . . . around their necks and if there were, to remove them.” 
Beluga whale deaths
A beluga whale died in 2000.
Sasha, a beluga whale born in 2008 at Marineland died around Oct. 10th 2011, several days before off season.
In May 2012, a 9-month old beluga, born to Skyla, succumbed to its injuries after a two-hour attack by two adult males in a shared tank. Only an untrained guide was on hand to try to stop the attack. Despite the guide's calls for immediate assistance, it took trainers two hours to arrive to the aid of the baby beluga. Sadly, by that time, it was too late and the calf died in the trainers arms.
Killer whale deaths
The following is a list of deceased killer whales who were at MarineLand:
- An unnamed whale died at the park in October 1992 from drowning.
- Junior, a wild Icelandic male Orca, died in June 1994.
- Kanuck, separated from mother, Kiska, and stored in a warehoused. Died at age 4 in 1998. 
- An unnamed whale born at Marineland died in June 1998.
- Nova died in August 2001.
- Algonquin died in August 2002 due to a twisted intestine.
- April died in April 2004.
- Neocia died in August 2004 at Marineland.
- Hudson died in 2004 with the cause of death being meningitis.
- Kandu 7 was a wild whale from Iceland that died in 2005.
- Katak/Splash was born at Marineland and was moved to Sea World in 1992 for health treatment. He died in April 2005.
- Athena died sometime in spring 2009. The cause of death was by infection.
- Malik, a three-year-old orca, died due to a deficient immune system.
- An unnamed wild died while being moved from Marineland to Japan.
Marineland's main advertising comes through a series of commercials with the jingle "Everyone Loves Marineland".
Marineland has also used other slogans over the years in its advertising.
"Come to Marineland" - (1980-1985) "Where the Fun Never Stops" - (1986-1988) "Happiness is Marineland" - (1987-1991) "Everyone Loves Marineland" - (1992–present)
- Official Name MarineLand.ca
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- "Thrilling Rides". Visiting Niagara Falls. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
- The man behind Marineland: 50 years of controversy
- "NDP'S LIBBY DAVIES TO TABLE MOTION TO BAN THE TRADE OF MARINE MAMMALS". Coalition for No Whale in Captivity. Retrieved 2001-03-30.
- Send killer whale back to Florida, court tells Marineland
- Marineland animals suffering, former staffers say
- "Third whale dies at Marineland; Animal rights groups call for moratorium on imports". August 19, 2000.
- "Marineland Cetacean Inventory". zoocheck.com. Zoocheck Canada. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- "More Whales Die at Marineland". CFHS. Retrieved 2009-07-10.