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The Hamilton Spectator
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Friday August 17, 2012
A former employee of an aquatic animal park has given a damning account of the horrific conditions animals were forced to endure.

Phil Demers resigned from Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario in May after 12 years as a senior trainer. He said a major reason for his departure was because the poor water conditions at the park had a catastrophic effect on the health of the seals, sea lions, walruses and dolphins.

'The water had gotten so bad it was green, it was harming the animals, it smelled bad and it made the people who worked in this environment ill as well,' he told the Toronto Star.

'The chemicals we were using to try to maintain the water were really harming the animals.' In revelations that have outraged animal right's activists he said the he saw the dolphin's skin was flaking off, and that they could not open their eyes.

Recalling the condition of Seal Lions Baker and Sander, he said that they could not even train them to open their eyes as 'the damage was so extensive that when we finally saw it, it was just grotesque.'

He told how the trainers would pull the animals out of the water to dry conditions to try and alleviate the damage but said as a consequence not having access to fresh water also proved to be harmful for the animals.

'Baker was writhing in pain, constantly shaking erratically, clutching his eyes shut,' he said.

He explained that Sandy did not move for weeks on end and to try and gain a monetary respite from the agony, Baker would constantly put his head into a bucket of fresh water. Continued

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