Philip Demers

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Philip Demers
Smooshi and Phil.jpg
Born Philip Demers
(1978-03-21) March 21, 1978 (age 39)
Welland, Ontario, Canada
Occupation marine mammal trainer
Years active 2000–2012

Philip Demers (aka "The Walrus Whisperer") (born March 21, 1978) is a former 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 where he was employed until August 2012.[1] In 2007, Demers became the focus of mass media attention regarding his unique relationship with a captive Pacific walrus named Smooshi.[2] Their relationship garnered the attention of such television programs as CBC's The National, Inside Edition,[3] and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Demers left his position at Marineland citing allegations of negligent treatment of the animals and unhealthy conditions.[4][5] As of fall 2015, Marineland continued to pursue legal action against Demers and other former employees claiming deleterious conditions at Marineland.[6]

Demers was a contestant on Wipeout Canada, becoming the winner of the first episode of the Canadian edition of the show.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mayor defends Marineland". Welland Tribune. 15 Aug 2012. Retrieved 15 Aug 2012. 
  2. ^ "Warm walrus love". Toronto Star. 13 Feb 2007. Retrieved 11 Apr 2011. 
  3. ^ "Interview: Smooshi the Love Struck Walrus". Inside Edition. Retrieved 14 Apr 2011. 
  4. ^ "Animal advocates hold protest outside of Marineland". CTV News. 18 Aug 2012. Retrieved 18 Aug 2012. 
  5. ^ Diebel, Linda (15 Aug 2012). "Marineland animals suffering, former staffers say". Toronto Star. Retrieved 21 Dec 2015. 
  6. ^ Demers, Philip (1 Oct 2015). "Bill 52 Won't Protect Past Whistleblowers Like Me". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 Dec 2015. 
  7. ^ "Chippawa resident wins big at Wipeout Canada". Niagara Falls Review. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 

External links[edit]