NIAGARA FALLS, ON -- A popular attraction just a short drive across the border is in some legal trouble this month.
The Ontario SPCA has charged Marineland in Niagara Falls with five counts of animal cruelty.
The SPCA says a confidential tip led them to find that 35 birds, black bears and guinea hens didn't have enough food and water.
Friday evening, Marineland responded to the charges, which you can read here in the park's Facebook post.
The park claims the OSPCA visited the park based on complaints from a former animal care worker, who they say had been fired for "poor performance and inappropriate behavior."
The park stated one of the birds that had a health issue, a peacock, had an issue with one eye and was otherwise healthy.
The park also says that none of the guinea hens OSPCA investigated were unhealthy or in need of medical treatment -- they simply did not respond well when four OSPCA staff entered their viewing pen. So OSPCA recommended the animals have more space.
The park also responded to the charge involving the black bear. They say OSPCA's concern was that one of the bears had consumed a fruit or vegetable with a small adhesive label. They added while this occasionally happens and is "regrettable" it shouldn't pose a serious health risk to the bear.
Marineland also mentioned in the post that there would be follow-up responses published this weekend and moving forward.
If convicted of the charges, officials with the theme park could face a fine of up to $60,000, a lifetime ban of owning animals, and possible jail time.
The OSPCA says more charges are pending.