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Marineland august 16, 2014: the water was disgusting in all the tanks. There was a heavy smell of chlorine in Kiska’s tank, the stadium tank and inside the aquarium. The seals all had their eyes tightly closed. Also Kiska’s tank was emanating a smell of fecal matter near the one side where the filter and vent was. The deers were heartbreaking. Apparently scraping their antlers is normal but usually done on trees. There are no trees in their area. Blood was getting every where and no one cared. Parents were letting their small children walk right through the fresh blood and touch the deer while he was scraping. It may be natural but it can’t be sanitary. Kiska has given up. You can see into her eyes. Echo the dolphin had take marks all over her. And one dolphin looked spotty. But can’t be sure. Couldn’t get close enough. No Smooshi in the show. We had Apollo instead. So many Belugas. There were 20 in one tank at Arctic Cove. The other side had mothers and babies. Plus one looked pregnant. There were about 4 babies. One looked about a week old.

22. Kiska

She is known in the media as the “World’s Loneliest Orca.” Kiska swims in total isolation in a barren fiberglass tank in Canada. Keeping a killer whale in solitary isolation is  illegal in the United States. A former Marineland trainer who worked primarily with Kiska reported to the Toronto Star that the lonely orca is suffering from medical conditions and has an untreated injury that causes her to bleed intermittently from her tail fluke.  Since Kiska has lost all her calves and closest companion, she is often seen logging listlessly at the surface of the water but continues vocalizing. On May 31, animal activists lined the road to Marineland silently protesting Kiska’s devastating living conditions. 

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(don’t worry, we’ll be back to your regularly scheduled ninja turtles programming soon)

(also sorry about the picture quality, i haven’t had a working scanner in awhile :()

Recently I’ve been reading extensively about Marineland Canada, a place I used to really enjoy visiting and whose animals are dear to my heart (Ontarians all know the “Everyone Loves Marineland” ear worm commercial!). Recently, after a lot of a research (and not being 13 any more) my stance on whale and dolphin captivity has changed significantly, where I no longer support it and don’t believe these animals, with all their self-awareness and smarts, do well there at all.

Marineland’s a prime example because Marineland, it turns out, is a literal whale death trap.

Read More

Meet Kiska, Canada’s only captive whale!

In the picture above is Kiska, who is the only captive orca in Canada. Something sound wrong? Yes. She is only orca, therefore she is alone.Orcas are extremely social animals and family-oriented, they depend on social interaction as a way to stay healthy & happy. But Kiska is alone in her concrete tank & has been for almost 4 years.

Kiska was snatched (& snatched is an understatement) from her family in 1979 when she was just 3 years old. She was sold to Marineland Ontario, and has lived there for the past 36 years. While in captivity, Kiska had 5 calves over the years, which all died before the age of 7. Kiska had to witness all of her calves die. The causes vary, but overall it all points to improper care on Marineland’s part.

Kiska and her last companion, Ikaika, were often separated because he would harass her. In 2011, Ikaika was moved to SeaWorld in San Diego because of a custody battle concerning the improper conditions of the facility.  

Kiska now lives alone, and has for almost 4 years.She lives in the same improper conditions that Ikaika was taken from. Although Kiska is retired from performing stupid tricks everyday, she now floats lifelessly in her tank with almost no stimulation. Her blowhole has a condition named "peanut head" (x) which is most likely caused my her being underweight. Another concern is her lack of teeth (x), which is quite painful for her. It’s caused my primarily boredom and drilling. Kiska floats in the back of Friendship cove and is occasionally “let out” to a underwater viewing area for 20 minutes. 

Kiska lives a sad, lonely life. It’s a wonder she has survived for this long. I don’t want Kiska to die in this concrete fishbowl where she spent most of her life. 

Please, please, sign this petition (x) to release Kiska to a sea pen, or a more appropriate facility & dont buy a ticket.

This breaks my heart, I don’t want to see anymore cetaceans live this life. Let’s end captivity. Until all the tanks are empty.

Watch on seeingelephants.tumblr.com

Two minutes with Kiska.  Sometimes it really looks like she’s watching her own shadow as she swims round and round.  After 5 dead calves and numerous dead tank mates, all Kiska has for company now is her shadow.

More about Kiska: [x][x]

More about the controversy surrounding Marineland Canada: [x][x]

More about the suffering of killer whales in captivity: [x]

#emptythetanks

Captivity is about separation and exclusion. It is about the destruction of families and communities. For wild caught animals, many watch their parents and family killed in front of them at a young age so that they won’t be able to put up a fight to defend them from capture. For the animals bred in captivity at Marineland, those parents routinely watch as their offspring suffer and die in infancy.

There are no heart warming stories for Mother’s Day at Marineland. There are endless sad stories, but none may be more pressing and sad than that of Kiska. Marineland’s last remaining Orca, Kiska was wild caught from Iceland in the 1980’s. At Marineland, Kiska is the longest serving resident and she has seen dozens of Orcas come and go - and estimated 14 other Orcas die. Of those 14, 5 of them have been her own children. The oldest surviving just 6 years.

Since the removal of Ikaika back to SeaWorld she has spent her days alone. Ex-trainers have spoken publicly about their concern for her and Marineland itself have gone on public legal record establishing their concern for the health of their lone Orca held in solitary.

Kiska’s story is the story of captivity. She has survived, but at what cost? Her life has been painfully sad, she is alone and completely dependent upon humans - humans who are only interested in her as an “asset.”

There is no human need to hold other animals in captivity. There is no human need to gawk at or to turn other animals into mere commodities and spectacles. We will fight to remove Kiska and all of the other animals at Marineland and to ensure no more captives for John Holer!

Photo Credit: Natalie Lucier

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