By Alisa Manzelli,
Two six-month-old harp seal pups are scheduled to be killed this Saturday September 15, when the Aquarium des Iles in Quebec, Canada closes for the winter.
The two pups, Zak and Mika, were taken as newborns from the wild this spring by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO-MPO) and placed on display for the summer. The aquarium accepted the young seals despite knowing they would not be released back into the wild at the end of the season, but instead slaughtered in the name of ‘research.’
Harp seal cubs, often called “whitecoats,” have long, wooly, white fur and undergo a series of “molts” before reaching adult coloration. Photo Credit: Creative Commons
The Island Wildlife Natural Centre (IWNCC) is campaigning to save the lives of Zak and Mika, while stating, “We are almost speechless by this aquarium’s loathsome and self-serving attitude towards wildlife. While we do not condone wild animals held in captivity, a responsible aquarium will, at the very least, provide year-round habitats.”
IWNCC also claims DFO-MPO informed the aquarium in advance that the seal pups would not be released back into the wild after fulfilling their purpose as a tourist attraction.
Supposedly, the seal pups will not be released back into the wild due to a potential for contamination. However, the IWNCC points out that other facilities in Eastern Canada plan to set their captive pups free.
In light of the recent Marineland investigation confirming animal abuse and neglect at the Ontario marine park, one would assume Canada’s animal showcasing industry would tread more carefully.