According to the website for Mont-Mosan in Huy (Liège), it is the ideal place to spend time and relax with the family. It says that the park is “A great opportunity to approach the animal world with the shows of sea lions, seals, and parrots.”
It may seem that way on the surface, but there is something sinister going on behind the scenes.
A sea lion is a wild animal and, although they may do okay in captivity, they are best suited for their natural environment. At times, these animals, which lead very social lives, can dive as deep as 600 feet into the ocean.
C’est assez is an animal activist who blew the whistle on what this park was doing. On August 7, 2020, a video was shared that showed a seal towing children in a boat using a rope tied around its neck. According to the activist, the seals perform for fish and other rewards.
Some people miss the point of why this is so outrageous. “I find it hard to understand the outrage,” writes one viewer. “How is it worse than horseback riding?”
Most tend to join Gisèle in their outrage. The activist even spoke to the park leaders directly according to SHARED, saying: “Know that you just lost a potential customer of your park, not to mention my family and friends with whom I just shared this video. Where is animal welfare in your park? Do you really think it is essential to attract the public?”
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Jean-Marc Vanberg is the director of the animal park who has his own take on the situation. He gave an interview with 7 out of 7, a Belgian site, saying: “I think people should pay more attention to the slaughter of poor whales that still take place in some parts of the world instead of looking after a small park where animals are not mistreated.” People in France and elsewhere have been calling him constantly about the situation.
Even though the park has been operating for years, it doesn’t seem as if many people have complained up to this point. The sea lions aren’t tied up, they just pull the boat with the ring that is in their mouth. They were trained to do so, according to Jean-Marc Vanberg.
Although they may say that nobody has complained about the situation, Mont-Mosan has been targeted by activists in the past. A complaint was lodged in 2018 by Jean-Michel Stasse, president of the ASBL Wolf Eyes. The complaint was associated with the chlorinated water, which they say would have made seals and sea lions blind.
They started a petition along with C’est assez to end the sea lion attractions at Mount Mosan.
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