Another heartbreaking video of Kiska the Marineland orca has been leaked
In the wake of the groundbreaking revelation that Marineland in Niagara Falls may be closing down permanently after this weekend, more video footage has surfaced of Kiska, the orca famous for the absolutely miserable existence she leads at the zoo.
The push to get Kiska freed and relocated to a sanctuary — as well as to shutter the park — have been reignited in recent months, in large part thanks to Phil Demers, a former Marineland trainer who now serves as a whistleblower shedding light on the plight of the animals in the 60-year-old attraction's care.
UPDATE: We have more heartbreaking video of Kiska, MarineLand’s last surviving orca floating listlessly at the surface of her concrete pool. She has lived in complete isolation since 2011. Witnesses say she often calls out for other orcas. #FreeKiska pic.twitter.com/TWyw9x781B— Phil Demers (@walruswhisperer) July 16, 2021
Demers has shared multiple videos across social media in recent weeks of Kiska's day-to-day life in her concrete tank, garnering nearly one million views and tons of outrage in response to her obviously deteriorating state.
Some of the footage shows the approximately 44-year-old killer whale, who's been in captivity for all but three years of her life and in complete isolation for a decade, simply floating around in listless devastation. Other images show her in obviously aggravated distress, smashing her head against the concrete and glass walls to the shock of onlookers.
Can't believe the Canadian government hasn't stepped in and done something. The way MarineLand treats the animals is criminal!— J. Martinez (@kopiouss) September 9, 2021
A new video just posted to Demers's Twitter account on Monday continues to show how mentally unwell Kiska is in her current environment.
The drone shot zooms in on the whale as she hovers alone in the corner of her tank, her head butted up against the wall.
She does not swim, play, or do much of anything for the duration of the 30-second clip, which shows how absolutely (and unnaturally) alone and dispirited she is.
RELEASED: More exclusive video of Kiska, MarineLand Canada’s last surviving orca languishing in complete solitude. Captured off the coast of Iceland in 1979, Kiska has outlived all her tank mates, including her 5 calves. She’s been in complete isolation since 2011. #FreeKiska pic.twitter.com/3cquYAAr7s— Phil Demers (@walruswhisperer) October 4, 2021
After losing all of the five calves she's birthed at the park at young ages and losing her last companion to another facility in 2011, activists and park attendees have expressed concern for Kiska's well-being, given the highly intelligent and social nature of her species.
Marineland's practices, in general, have been protested, petitioned and called into question many times over the years after dozens of animal deaths, unsanitary water and other conditions often described as "deplorable," while customers have posted reviews stating the animals appear "sad and sick" and aren't properly taken care of.
How can Kiska’s captures not look at her & not feel sadness. What good is she to them, Kisha has given up on life so why sit watching her pain. How can we help get her free, is there anything we can do?— Alison Johnson (@AlisonJ15267085) October 4, 2021
Following the publication of the videos, as well as a recent Animal Welfare Services inspection that found Marineland's animals were suffering due to poor water quality, a legal complaint was launched by the non-profit Animal Justice in July.
"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 complaint reads.
"The two 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."
While animal lovers await updates about the fate of the zoo and its residents, Demers and fellow activists have vowed to continue with ongoing fundraising efforts, appeals for investigations by the relevant authorities and whatever else is necessary to help Kiska and her friends.
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