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article imageOp-Ed: Two harp seal pups scheduled to be destroyed at Aquarium des Iles

By Elizabeth Batt     Sep 10, 2012 in Environment
Quebec - Time is running out for two six-month-old harp seals who are scheduled to be destroyed on Sep. 15 when the Aquarium des Iles closes for the season. The aquarium accepted the seals, knowing that they could not return them to the wild.
The two seals, Zak and Mika, were captured from the wild this spring as newborn pups by Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO-MPO), says Pedro Baranda, of British Columbia's Island Wildlife Natural Care Center (IWNCC), a registered wild animal charity.
The seals were then given to the Aquarium des Iles in Quebec, who accepted the pups for tourism display despite only operating during the summer months. So when the facility closes its doors for the winter on Sep. 15, Zak and Mika will be destroyed for research.
IWNCC said the Aquarium des Iles "was told in advance by DFO-MPO, that the seal pups would not be allowed to be released back into the wild after they served the aquarium’s purpose," but they took them anyway.
In light of the recent allegations of animal abuse against Marineland in Ontario, one might have thought Canada's display industry would tread more carefully and consider the repercussions of their actions.
Now more than ever, everyday people are coming to realize that when captive facilities display animals for profit and pass off a pretense of care to paying families, something is ethically and morally wrong. In fact I'm certain, that as the Aquarium des Iles busily shoved dollars into its cash register, at no time did they tell these families with kids that in just six months, cute, adorable Zak and Mika would die.
IWNCC has established a petition to try and save the two young seals before Sep. 15; the petition will be forwarded to the Honorable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in Ottawa.
If you believe that marine mammals should not be used as a disposable commodity, you can also sign it at The Petition
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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