Kiska, Marineland orca, dies after over 40 years in captivity

Kiska, the lone orca at Marineland, has died after over 40 years in captivity. Often described as the world’s loneliest orca, Kiska had been at Marineland in Niagara Falls since 1979 and was about 47 years old.
In a statement, Marineland says its “Marine mammal care team and experts did everything possible to support Kiska’s comfort and will mourn her loss.” The park told the Niagara Falls Review that the killer whale’s health declined recently “despite intensive interventions by her caregivers, Marineland’s veterinarian team and international veterinarians with expertise in supporting the health and well-being of cetaceans.” Kiska lived alone in a pool complex since 2011 and was the last orca legally allowed to live in captivity. “World Animal Protection is heartbroken over the death of Kiska, Marineland’s last living orca, but thanks to changes to federal legislation, Kiska will be the last Orca to ever be in captivity in Canada,” said Michèle Hamers, World Animal Protection’s Wildlife Campaign Manager. “Marineland continues to escape accountability because of Ontario’s weak animal welfare enforcement, which has resulted in a culture of noncompliance with the few regulations that exist in the province.” Brent Ross says the province’s Animal Welfare Services officers were on-site as Marineland performed a necropsy on the orca. Kiska appeared in shows at Marineland for years but has not performed for more than a decade. She spent that time in a large pool at Friendship Cove, separated from a pod of belugas. Kiska gave birth to five calves during her time at Marineland, but they all died young. She was captured alongside Keiko, who became famous in the movie Free Willy, and the pair lived together for a few years at Marineland in the 1980s.
In Dec. 2021, Niagara Regional Police charged Marineland for allegedly using dolphins and whales for entertainment. Marineland denied the charge at the time.

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