Extremism in Vancouver

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, August/September 1996:

VANCOUVER, B.C.––Turning 40, the Van-couver
Aquarium celebrated by granting free admission to anyone
born in 1956 for a week in June, just after alienating
supporters in the animal protection community with a
17,000-piece mailing denouncing “animal rights extremists.”
The mailing was to rally opposition to a referendum
proposal, which may be on the November city ballot,
that would ban keeping whales in Stanley Park, where the
aquarium is located. Despite offending some otherwise sympathetic
recipients, the mailing succeeded, inundating the
Vancouver Parks Board with 6,000 petition signatures,
2,000 preprinted postcards, and over 100 letters of support.

The Vancouver Aquarium, best known as the first
to keep captive orcas, is a longtime leader in rehabilitating
injured and/or orphaned marine mammals, especially harbor
seals, and in developing shore-based whalewatching videography,
but is beseiged by Peter Hamilton of Lifeforce and
Annelise Sorg of the Coalition for No Whales in Captivity,
Period, who recently won closure of the adjacent Stanley
Park Zoo, and then thwarted the aquarium’s hope of using
the site for an enlarged stranding rescue center. The aquarium
now uses a temporary site provided by Rogers Sugar Ltd.
Hamilton has repeatedly accused the Vancouver
Aquarium of “vivisecting” five Stellar sea lions, who are
alive and well as subjects of ongoing non-invasive metabolic
research to find out why wild Stellar sea lions are starving.

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