kiska

Disturbing new footage has emerged of Kiska the lonely Marineland orca

Two more concerning videos have just been leaked of Kiska, Marineland's most famous and undeniably loneliest animal, as people continue to fight for her release after years of mistreatment.

If you care at all for the plight of living creatures and have somehow not yet heard Kiska's story, you may want to brace yourself, especially before watching any of the footage of her that has emerged in recent weeks.

Kiska, who is around 44 years old now, has lived all but the first couple years of her life in captivity since being captured off the coast of Iceland. Despite the fact that orcas are extremely intelligent and social animals that live in pods, she has been completely isolated since 2011, when her last companion was moved to another facility. 

The five calves she's birthed while at Marineland all died at a young age, and her treatment and condition at the park has been called into question for many years while her mental and physical state continue to visibly deteriorate.

A video posted to social media by a former trainer at the zoo in July garnered hundreds of thousands of views and renewed calls to move Kiska to a sanctuary and/or shut down the park completely. It showed her floating near the surface of her concrete tank despondently, appearing near-dead and clearly depressed.

That same month, an ongoing inspection by Animal Welfare Services confirmed that the animals in Marineland's care are living "in distress" due to poor water quality. 

A legal complaint was filed against the Niagara Falls attraction shortly thereafter, with activist group Animal Justice noting that "in Ontario, it's not only illegal to cause physical distress or suffering to an animal — it's illegal to cause psychological distress, too."

"The new videos of Kiska raise serious concerns that her physical and mental needs are not being met, and we are calling on provincial authorities to launch an urgent investigation and do everything in their power to help Kiska."

As calls to free her continue to no avail, two more videos of another incident have been shared this week, these ones even more disturbing — they show two different perspectives, one aerial and one on the ground (courtesy of activist Jenny McQueen), both showing the whale violently smashing her own head against the wall of her tank for more than 20 seconds straight.

In the footage, onlookers rush over to watch as Kiska grows more agitated, stirring up large waves as she throws herself at the concrete and glass full-force over and over before eventually swimming off.

The videos have accrued more than 150,000 views and thousands of retweets, likes, quote tweets and responses of shock and heartbreak in just 24 hours, with poster Phil Demers — the same former trainer that released the earlier images — stating that the whale is in his expert opinion clearly displaying "dangerous and self-harming behaviour" and is in distress.

Though the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act passed in Canada in 2019, it only prohibits keeping, breeding and trading new whales, dolphins and porpoises for entertainment purposes and does not apply to those already in captivity.

The 60-year-old Marineland and other zoos remain operational despite ongoing protestspetitions and videos like these ones, though hopefully, it is not naive of us to hope for some improvement to the conditions animals like Kiska live in, or possibly even for their eventual release.

Lead photo by

@walruswhisperer


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