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Open Letter To Vancouver Politicians
posted on February 24, 2015

Open Letter To Vancouver PoliticiansOpen Letter

Dear Parks Board Commissioners and Vancouver City Councillors
(pbcomment@city.vancouver.bc.ca; mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca;):

At Least 46 Reasons to Boycott Captivity!

With the recent death of the beluga “Nanuq” the Vancouver Aquarium pro captivity business has resulted in the deaths of 46 cetaceans since 1964.I witnessed the abusive captures of ‘Nanuq’ and others in 1990. “Nanuq” was sent from Vancouver to Sea World in 1997. Both males and a female were sent to the infamous Sea “Death” Worlds.

There is no education and conservation from these aquatic circuses. For example, in addition to the continuous physical and psychological stressful transport between aquariums, they did not tell the public about the artificial insemination experiments. There are at least 6 more baby deaths fathered by their wild caught beluga “Nanuq” at Sea World. This was between 2006 and 2012. Some of the births were by artificial insemination in which “manual stimulation with a glove hand” was used to get the beluga to ejaculate into an “artificial vagina”. Nanuq had to be “trained” for 2 years. They took 42 semen samples and used 10 of them in 7 females. Sea World bred at least 8 belugas who may have survived so far. Every other baby goes to the breeding facility. Vancouver Aquarium may now “own” 8 belugas.

In captivity the majority die prematurely. Similar claims that belugas live just as long in captivity as they would in the wild are similar to claims regarding the longevity of orcas. That was proven to be false.

“Nanuq” had an infection due to a fractured jaw resulting from fighting with others in their so-called “compatible social group”. Numerous abnormal aggressions have been documented with some attacks being fatal to both the captive cetaceans and trainers. The Vancouver Aquarium had to separate belugas due to severe bite “raking”. Some were kept in the back holding pool out of public view. The male, “Imaq”, was confined there for over 2 years.

The warehousing of belugas out of public view is due, in part, to the Parks Board’s/Aquarium’s 1988 broken promise that the present pool would be built for the existing 3 belugas to give them more space. However, when one died they captured 3 more. Overcrowding led to abnormal social structure (some males separate into bachelor groups in the wild) and abnormal aggression problems.

Please Stop the Vancouver Aquarium expansion to imprison more cetaceans! Boycott Captivity!

Peter Hamilton
Read SADquarium > https://www.facebook.com/VancouverAquariumisSADquarium