NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Marineland has been ordered by the Ontario government to immediately stop burying dead animals on the grounds of the tourist attraction, officials say.
In ordering the ban, the Ministry of the Environment set out a series of deadlines by which the Niagara Falls theme park must complete a list of orders, the Toronto Star reported Tuesday.
Those orders include Marineland allowing an environmental firm to do a comprehensive assessment of the park. The park also must conduct documented interviews with current and former employees with knowledge of the mass burial sites.
The ministry said Marineland never obtained permits for burial of any of the thousands of animals interred at the park.
A former park supervisor told the newspaper in December four mass graves, one of which contained the remains of more than 1,000 animals, existed at the park. Animals buried at the sites include killer whales, buffalo and bears
The ministry began an investigation of the park after the Star asked about the rules and environmental impact of the mass burials.
In late December, officials tested the water and soil at the park and sampled the nearby Welland River. No contamination was found.
The 1,000-acre marine and animal park was created in 1961.