Kiska, the world’s loneliest orca, passed away on Friday at Marineland in Ontario, Canada. The 47-year-old female whale had been living in solitary confinement for the past 12 years, despite orcas being highly social creatures. Marineland confirmed the news of her death and stated that their marine mammal care team and experts had done everything possible to support Kiska’s comfort, and will mourn her loss.
World Loneliest Orca, Kiska Cause of Death: What Happened?
While the cause of Kiska’s death was not released, Marineland had reportedly been observing her declining health for several weeks prior to her passing. The park had been charged with unauthorized use of animals in December 2021 after videos emerged on social media of Kiska bashing her head and body against the walls of her tank, gaining millions of views. Another heartbreaking video captured her floating listlessly on the surface of the concrete pool.
The Niagara Regional Police investigators believed that the park violated the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, which prohibits the captivity of these marine mammals. During the investigation, it was found that dolphins and whales were utilized for entertainment purposes during the month of August, without being authorized to do so following an amendment to the Criminal Code under Bill S-203 on June 21, 2019.
Kiska’s story began in 1979, when she was just three years old and taken from her family near Iceland, along with an orca named Keiko, who later starred in the 1993 film “Free Willy.” Kiska was living in captivity on a grandfather clause that was given to Marineland as an exemption, but keeping whales and dolphins in captivity is now banned.
The plight of captive marine mammals like Kiska has been a topic of discussion for years. Many animal rights activists have been campaigning for the release of these creatures into their natural habitats, citing the adverse effects of captivity on their physical and mental well-being. Kiska’s death is a reminder of the urgent need to address this issue and take necessary measures to ensure that these animals are no longer subjected to inhumane treatment.
In conclusion, Kiska’s death at Marineland is a tragic reminder of the plight of captive marine mammals and the urgent need to protect them. While Kiska may be gone, her legacy will continue to inspire advocacy for the freedom and well-being of all captive animals.