Zak and Mika were captured from the wild this spring as newborn pups by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the purpose of providing them to the Aquarium des Iles in Quebec for tourism display. Now that tourist season is over, the Aquarium plans to kill them.
Update: Things are looking up for Zac and Mika. More than 100,000 signatures have worked. Zac and Mika are not going to be killed on September 15th! This petition has given Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre and IFAW a critical tool with which to carry out the ongoing negotiations. Please donít stop signing and sharing, our work is not done.
This situation has taken a bizarre twist. According to a news release on their Facebook page, The Aquarium des Iles is demanding $73,000 from the public, within six days, for temporary care until Zak and Mika are either placed or released. We think this is extortion! Please sign to tell the Fisheries Minister to step in for Zak and Mika, $73,000 or no.
A summer worker who assisted with their daily care discovered the fate of her charges and has also contacted several animal rights groups to help. We learned of this situation from our associate at the Brigitte Bardot Foundation. While we are a Western Canada marine mammal hospital and not in a position to provide a habitat for these animals, we are trying to help as much as possible. We contacted the Aquarium des Iles to receive background information. They confirmed that the story was accurate. The aquarium admitted they knew in advance the pups would have to be killed after they’ve outlived their summer usefulness (the reason cited was because of the potential for contamination).
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.
Our investigations have also shown that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has permitted seals that have been in human care at other Eastern Canada facilities to be released in 2012. We also understand that this will be an annual event.
We have written our plea to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Please add your voice. Urge them to ALLOW ZAK AND MIKA TO RETURN TO THEIR WILD HABITAT. Also let the Aquarium des Isles know that you disapprove.
There is little time. The Aquarium des Iles say they will be euthanized by September 15.
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