‘The Last Walrus’ – A Film Exploring the Issues Around a Last Walrus at the captive animal fun park Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario – to Premier on CBC’s ‘The Nature of Things’

“Friends of the Walrus – I am happy to announce that *CBC’s The Nature of Things: The Last Walrus *is going to air in Canada on *March 12 at 9pm ET* on CBC and CBC Gem.”                                          – the film’s creator Nathalie Bibeau

A News Release from Bunbury Films, presenter of the documentary, ‘The Last Walrus’ Posted February 24th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Last Walrus premieres on the 60th Season of CBC’s The Nature of Things March 12 Award-winning filmmaker Nathalie Bibeau goes behind the battle lines of an explosive debate about marine mammals in human care

 

Toronto, Ontario – Killer whale kisses and walrus waves have been iconic experiences in modern childhood. Marine parks have long tickled the imagination of animal lovers around the world, but a seismic shift in public opinion on the captivity of marine mammals has upset the status quo

In The Last Walrus, filmmaker Nathalie Bibeau dives deep into the debate on how – and whether – to hold marine mammals ‘in human care’. Presented by Bunbury Films, the documentary premieres March 12th at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem on The Nature of Things.

Former Marineland trainer and Niagara resident Phil Demers, still faced with a SLAPP suit launched by the Niagara Falls amusement park,  being interviewed by film producer Nathalie Bibeau during production.

With trusted access to contrasting perspectives, Bibeau puts the animal at the centre of her narrative. She returns to her home region of Niagara, and to far-flung areas on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, to explore the complex questions around the capture, display and study of marine mammals. Featuring scientists, ex-trainers, ethicists, activists and politicians, the documentary reflects on legacy organizations in Canada at the centre of the debate: the Vancouver Aquarium – a leader in conservation research and the first home to a captive killer whale in the world – and Marineland – a tourist staple in Niagara Falls, known for its catchy jingle, “Everyone Loves Marineland”. Like thousands of other children, Bibeau grew up going to parks such as Marineland.

One of many public rallies, protesting marine mammal captivity, in front of the Marineland park in Niagara, Falls, Ontario – this one in 2018. File photo by Doug Draper

But in 2012, she witnessed a childhood acquaintance and former trainer at the park make allegations of animal cruelty in a Toronto Star exposé. This set the stage for a public battle and impassioned campaign to ‘save’ what is now Marineland’s last remaining adult walrus, galvanizing a community and begging larger questions on captivity as a whole.

Members of animal advocacy groups protest in front of Marineland. File photo by Doug Draper

This documentary was born of those questions. Supported by rare archival images, and compelling footage of walruses in human care, and in the wild, The Last Walrus is a companion project to the feature film and Hot Docs 2020 Audience Award winner, The Walrus and the Whistleblower. It strikes at the heart of an uncomfortable conversation about the evolution of our relationship with animals. Whether marine mammals are in pools for entertainment, education, or conservation, this documentary – a love story at its heart – asks a fundamental question: is it time we think of it from the animal’s perspective?

For two pieces Niagara At Large posted on this film project when it was first screened as a full-length documentary film for television and theatres, click on –

https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/05/25/new-film-focuses-on-former-marineland-trainer-and-whistleblower-phil-demers-his-epic-battle-with-an-iconic-niagara-falls-amusement-park/ .

https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/09/04/a-gripping-look-at-one-citizens-epic-battle-with-marineland-in-niagara-falls-ontario-2/ .

To watch a trailer of the film, ‘The Walrus and the Whistleblower’, click on the screen immediately below –

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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