Kiska, ‘World’s Loneliest’ Orca And Last Captive Whale In Canada, Has Died
Kiska, the final captive killer whale in Canada, died Thursday at MarineLand, a theme park in Ontario, in keeping with CBC. She was believed to be about 47 years previous.
Kiska was captured in Icelandic waters in 1979 alongside Keiko, the orca seen within the 1993 film “Free Willy.” The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals described Kiska as “the world’s loneliest orca,” per Reuters. The group mentioned her life was characterised by “tragedy after tragedy,” as all 5 of her calves died earlier than the age of seven.
“It is heartbreaking to know that Kiska will never have the chance to be relocated to a whale sanctuary, and experience the freedom that she so deeply deserved,” Camille Labchuk, govt director of the Canadian nonprofit group Animal Justice, instructed CBC.
Brent Ross, a spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of the Solicitor General, instructed Reuters the administration was knowledgeable of Kiska’s demise on Thursday and has already overseen a necropsy. Groups like Animal Justice, nevertheless, say extra transparency is required.
“We are demanding justice for what Kiska endured at the hands of MarineLand,” Labchuk instructed CBC. “We are calling on provincial authorities to make public the results of a post-mortem, and prosecute MarineLand for the unlawful distress Kiska experienced.”
MarineLand didn’t instantly reply to HuffPost’s request for remark.
While Kiska’s reason for demise has but to be decided, Animal Justice filed a criticism towards MarineLand in 2021 concerning her bodily and psychological well-being after former coach Phil Demers shared footage of the orca floating listlessly in her tank.
Kiska lived with Keiko for just a few years earlier than they have been separated within the Eighties, and she or he spent the final 12 years in solitary confinement, in keeping with the New York Post. In the wild, orcas are extremely social animals and develop complicated hierarchies inside their pods, in keeping with the National Wildlife Federation. In sure forms of pods, offspring stay with their moms for the remainder of their lives.
While MarineLand denies any negligence within the matter, movies of Kiska ramming her head towards her tank partitions went viral in December 2021, garnering tens of millions of views on-line. The theme park was charged with unauthorized use of animals because of this.
Niagara police discovered MarineLand to be in violation of Canada’s Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, saying on the time that its “dolphins and whales were utilized for entertainment purposes … without being authorized to do so,” per the Post.
“Marine mammal care team and experts did everything possible to support Kiska’s comfort and will mourn her loss,” native media quoted the theme park as saying this week, per Reuters.
Kiska was initially captured when she was simply 3. While laws in 2019 banned the captivity of whales and dolphins in Canada, Kiska was exempt, as animals that have been already captive weren’t required to be launched, per Yahoo.
“Rest in peace, Kiska,” PETA tweeted on Friday. “You’re free now.”