Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

[Marinland] A day with whales @ Marineland, Niagara Falls

Last weekend, we went to Waterloo, Ontario, via Buffalo, New York, mainly because of my officiating work as a line umpire, for the ITF Cooper Challenger in Waterloo. Mr. D and the boys spent good time to visit the Marineland, exhibition park for marine animals. I need to get ready for the Rogers Cup for which I got selected for the first time :). That's why I drove all the way to Laval, QC the weekend before, and Waterloo last weekend. I am very excited, but nervous at the same time. Now I'm glad to have been selected for the Women's tournament instead of Men's since the Men's balls are much harder and difficult to read. I'll be ready for Men's Rogers cup in a couple of years. :) So I am taking vacation to work for the week of Rogers Cup in August.

Revenons à nos moutons. (let's get back to the subject!)

(Pablo in 2008)
We had visited Marineland almost 5 years ago. Pablo was a toddler and Remi was a kindergartener. 

(Remi in 2008)

Since that time, my baby is not  a baby anymore, and my little kindergartener completed his grade 3. 

In 2008, there was a mother-child pair of killer whales, and the baby orca was amazingly cute. 

There was only one killer whale this time... Wondered where one went away.
Killer whale overwhelms with its size. I got stunned by its size when I saw it for the first time before my eyes. 

Killer whales are the largest extant members of the dolphin family. Males typically range from 6 to 8 metres (20 to 26 ft) long and weigh in excess of 6 tonnes (5.9 long tons; 6.6 short tons). Calves at birth weigh about 180 kg (400 lb) and are about 2.4 m (7.9 ft) long. (Reference: Unlike dolphins or beluga whales, killer whales have such thick bodies which feature especially large and rounded paddle-like fins. 

Their robust fins give them extra strength and speed.

Oh, before going to see the killer whale, my guys went to see the dolphin show where dolphins demonstrated  great skills and smartness. 

As dolphins are well known as one of the most intelligent animals in the world, their ability to follow the instructions is something extraordinary.

Dolphin trainers communicate with their trainees so well that they exhibited a fantastic teamwork.

In spite of its lean and relatively small bodies, dolphins have great strength to carry a human male easily.

Beluga whale is strong enough to lift a human female with its jaws/beak.

Sea lions and seals appeared in the show. 

Personally I found them less attractive only because they were less beautiful compared to the handsome dolphins. 

But, it's true that they also were great entertainers.

Then, the highlight of the day was waiting for Remi and Pablo: Petting(?) zoo, so called 'feeding and touching beluga whales.' 

When you pay $9, you can feed three fish to a beluga whale and touch their pretty round heads. Fortunately, they are not afraid of the animals, or rather, they like animals. 

Therefore, they didn't have any issue feeding and touching beluga whales. I asked the kids how beluga whales felt. They said they felt very smooth and hard. 
You can tell they enjoyed so much!

At Marineland, you can go down the tunnels(?) to observe the whales underground from the observation window. 

Kids stood there and saw the whales as long as they wanted.
Oh, maybe the highlight was gift shop. Both my kids love stuffed animals. Each of their beds is filled with stuffed animals, but they still want more. Remi got a beluga whale while Pablo chose a killer whale. It's too bad that we didn't take any picture of the stuffed animals, just not yet. I'll upload when I take a few photos.

So, it was a fun-packed day for my boys, and hopefully for Mr. D as well.
I'll post about Buffalo, or food in Buffalo, soon. :)



  1. It must be really great time to your family!
    I've seen the killer whale in Orlando before.
    It was very impressive and giant!

    I'm looking for your Buffalo trip post. :)

    1. Hi YH, it was a wonderful trip. :) My kids love killer whales. I also think they are one of the most amazing creatures in the world.
      Buffalo - Niagara post is coming shortly. :)

  2. The Killer Whale you saw there was Kiska and she has been at Marineland for a long time. The last time you saw her she had a calf, it died. She has had 5 calves at Marineland and they all have died. Worse yet, all the other killer whales that used to be here are dead, long before they would have on average in the wild.

    That "trainer" you see pictured standing on the Beluga's head? That is unbelievably wrong. Their head, or melon is a sensitive flexible organ used for echolocation. Standing on it is not only disrespectful to these animals it is abusive.

    Over the last year 15 employees risked lawsuits and broke non disclosure agreements to speak publically and state they have witness abuse and neglect at Marineland. The park has one of the highest death rates in the world of any aquarium.

    These animals are extremely socially complex and highly intelligent, they do not belong in captivity and it is extremely cruel to keep them there.

    1. Hi Mike,
      thank you very much for your insightful comments. I appreciate it.

      Yes. I mostly concur on the matter with you. They are not meant to be in captivity. However, that could be a way for so many of us to recognize and learn about their existence and their unique value.
      It's so sad that Kiska lost all her calves :(, even more or so considering that killer whales have single offspring every five years.

      Hopefully those zoo founders/operators understand the nature of those marine mammals and let them live where they belong to.

  3. Colleen, thank you for your reply. The marine mammal captivity industry likes to sell the idea that keeping these animals in captivity is needed so kids get to touch and experience and learn about them to appreciate them.

    This is a load of baloney. When i was young i never saw a dinosaur, or been to space but believe me i could tell you everything you wanted to know about either topic ;-) There is nothing educational about forcing animals to do tricks for dead fish stuffed with drugs. It is a sea circus.

    Truth is these animals belong in the wild with their own families who they stay with all their lives in matriarchal pods. In this business they are stolen from the sea and exploited until they die. There is no "retirement" for these animals.

    The blame for these places lies squarely with the public who continue to buy tickets to this barbaric practice.

    1. Hi Mike,
      as I replied above, you are mostly right.
      But, think about it. When you got to know so much about dinosaurs and the space, don't you want to see them in person, or would you miss a chance to be in the space once in your life? I would love to be in a real Jurassic park even if I'd be scared to death, to see dinos. That's how humans are. Believe me, there would have been a few dozens dinosaur parks if those wonderful creatures hadn't been extinct. Maybe humans don't have the right to keep other animals in captivity, but they (or we) haven't been that ethical or politically correct either. As I said, I most agree to your opinion, but I am aware of the nature of our mankind too.:(

  4. Hi Colleen,

    Before I comment on the amazing sea mammals at Marinland, I guess congratulations are in order. Congratulations for being selected as a line umpire @ Rogers Cup! Knowing how much you enjoy tennis, I'm happy for you:) I can't wait for the hardcourt season to begin! (Although Roger has two clay tournaments before the season. Summer clay tournaments.. still can't get quite used to it.)

    Sea mammals are very interesting animals, for sure. I am constantly surprised by their size and intelligence whenever I go to a zoo.

    I baked a walnut pie using pecan pie recipe from your previous blog and it tastes great. But one problem is that the pie crust crumbles apart.. can you guess what the problem is? :( It's a shame that there are no low calorie pies, I could just have the whole plate by myself. '0'

    Have a nice week :

    1. Hi Julia, thank you for the congratulations. As you might have figured already, I am very excited :) I am also waiting for the hard court swing~ Hope Fed be well prepared for the coming months. He still has lots of points to defend, including 1000 points from Cincinnati title... :( I am sure that there will be more than a few exciting matches waiting for us.

      Maybe, did you use your pie dough when it's not completely chilled yet? Or did you add too much water when you make dough? Or did you use the butter that's not completely cold? As I mentioned a few times, the way to make a flaky dough is to use chilled/cold ingredients and mix it very very quickly. See my pie dough recipe here:
      I'm sure you will make a great crispy dough next time. Practice makes perfect!
      Have a nice evening!