My name is Phil Demers,
In Aug 2012, the Toronto Star ran an explosive expose about the treatment of animals at Marineland of Canada, of which I participated in name and appearance.
I had to - I couldn't turn my back on the animals I took care of for 12 years, especially Smooshi, a wild caught pacific walrus I share a very powerful and unique relationship with.
Myself and other former employees also petitioned the Ontario Government to create better animal protection laws, standard of cares for current captives and a ban on the importation of wild-captured animals into Canada.
As a consequence to our advocacy, Marineland sued 3 of us for millions of dollars.
These lawsuits (SLAPP) are now the subject of intense scrutiny by the Ontario Government, who plan to deem them illegal in the near future, however laws take time and Marineland remains intent on burdening us with astonishingly expensive legal fees. If we as whistleblowers are punished for defending these amazing animals, it sets a very dangerous precedence for future animal/social justice advocates. Please help us send a clear message to Marineland that we will not be bullied into silence.
Much of the details, files and footage provided in the documentary "Blackfish" were made available via the OSHA vs. SeaWorld trial. Similarly, we wish the opportunity to discover Marineland to offer EVEN MORE insight into the captive animal industry, while exonerating us of Marineland's claims.
Though 18000$ won't likely be enough, we hope the support will continue throughout this process, as more and more people come to understand the injustices these amazing animals endure throughout their captive lives.
For those unable to contribute, there are still many ways you can support both the whistleblowers and captive animals at Marineland by signing and sharing this petition - https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/save-marineland-s-animals and following me on twitter @walruswhisperer for more information as this journey continues to develop.
We humbly thank those who support our efforts to defend our animals and our fiscal solvency.