Now is the time. The Government of Ontario recently announced plans to essentially end orca captivity in Ontario forever. There was no mention of what was to happen to Kiska, the last captive orca remaining in Canada. Kiska resides at Marineland Canada, in a small, bland tank. She has suffered the loss of all 5 of her calves, as well as her tankmates, and now she lives entirely alone. The Government must address Kiska’s social isolation, and allow her to be moved to a facility that can better care for her. If Kiska absolutely cannot be moved (due to health for example) then Marineland must provide her with a companion (a dolphin) and upgrade her environment to suit her needs, as well as develop an in-depth enrichment program.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO SIGN AND SHARE NOW. Even people who are pro-captivity. THIS is the best way to help Kiska, and you know it. Do not continue to sit by and be complicit in her suffering.
I really wanted to touch on the fact that orcas, including Kiska, are self-aware and sentient animals. These are not creatures that you can just stick in an empty tank and expect them to be fine.
Kiska was violently ripped from her family in 1979 and has been held at Marineland Canada ever since. According to a former employee, she has never been a strong whale and is constantly on medication. Her condition only worsened after the deaths of all 5 of her calves, the oldest only surviving six years. Kiska has also suffered the loss of every one of her tankmates. She now lives entirely alone, and is the only captive orca in the world without another cetacean companion. The saddest sight to be seen at Marineland, Kiska’s life consists of swimming listlessly in circles day in and day out. Occasionally, she is given a toy to play with for a few minutes. Former employees have also described Kiska as “starved for attention” and say she vocalizes a lot, as if calling out for someone. Allowing such a magnificent animal to languish in these conditions is nothing short of abusive. There is an ongoing campaign to help Kiska, and all you have to do is sign here and spread the word. Please help us help the world’s loneliest orca!
First Orca Held: Kandu 2, survived 8 years in captivity
Current Orcas Held:Kiska, who has been kept alone for 3 years now
Total Orcas Held: 27
Deaths: 16 (+2 stillbirths/miscarriages at least.)
Average Age at Death: 8.4 (including infant deaths), 10.2 (excluding infant deaths)
Orcas From Wild:12
Years Active: 1971-Present.
Notable Facts: Marineland Canada is the last facility in Canada that still holds killer whales, or more accurately a killer whale. After a legal battle with Seaworld, Ikaika was shipped away from Marineland and Kiska was left alone. Marineland has one of, if not the most unsuccessful breeding program in the world. Out of 13 pregnancies since 1989, all sired by the same bull, one being inbred, 0 calves are alive today, with the average age at death being only 5. Kiska the lone whale had 5 live offspring, and has outlived them all. Marineland has had some other questionable (or just downright unethical!) practices, such as the use of the warehouse. The most famous and perhaps most disgusting example of this is Junior, a male whale who spent years in the warehouse, a shallow tank with no natural lighting, hidden away from the public. Junior was for sale, but never purchased. Most whales Marineland had spent some amount of time in there. Marineland is also one of the few parks o have held transient whales, housing Knootka and Kanduke for a period of time. Marineland’s orca program will likely end when Kiska dies, as the park refuses to give her up. Some people have questioned whether he’ll get one of the recently captured Russian orcas to be a companion for her and keep the program going, but as of the end of the 2014 season, he hasn’t. Canada has almost no laws for captive marine mammals, so making the import would be completely legal, and the park has in fact imported many belugas in the past decade. The park is one that seems to be dying, and with an orca program so unsuccessful that’s probably for the better. Kiska is one of only three whales housed without another orca for a companion. After spending years in the company of other orcas, and suddenly left alone, this has caused public concern and outcry for change.
Photos belong to their owners (most did not have links attached for me to ask for permission) I WILL take them down if asked by their authors.
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.
Naval History & Heritage Command #OTD in 1943, at the Battle of Komandorski Islands, Task Group 16.6, commanded by Rear Adm. Charles H. McMorris, prevents Japanese reinforcements from reaching Kiska, Aleutian Islands. During battle, USS Salt Lake City (CA 25) is damaged by gunfire from heavy cruisers Maya and Nachi.