Phil Demers

From WikiAnimal
Philip Demers with Smooshi The Walrus
Philip Demers with Smooshi The Walrus

Phil Demers is a former professional marine mammal trainer at Marineland of Canada in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He is best known for his relationship with a captive walrus named Smooshi. Demers worked as an animal trainer at the park for 12 years before quitting in 2012 after getting fed up with the animal suffering he said he had witnessed. Marineland filed a lawsuit against Demers in March 2013, demanding C$1.5m (£906,586) from him for trespassing and plotting to steal Smooshi. Demers said the park’s allegations against him were a complete work of fiction and filed a counterclaim for defamation and abuse of process. The legal battle stretched over a decade and accrued costs of around C$250,000, pushing him to his financial and mental limits.[1]

Demers has also been featured in the documentary "The Walrus and the Whistleblower," which screened at several film festivals, including Hot Docs and the Toronto International Film Festival.[2] Since leaving Marineland, Demers has worked part-time as a mailman.[2]