Drone flown over aquarium shows its last surviving orca in 'heartbreaking' footage
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Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Phil Demers
Drone footage has captured the 'heartbreaking' sight of an aquarium's last remaining orca whale.
The 30-second drone footage was posted on YouTube yesterday (18 January) by Phil Demers, a former head trainer of Marineland's stadium in Canada.
The video in question shows Kiska, who is commonly referred to as the 'loneliest whale in the world', after outliving her five other calves with whom she used to share a tank with at Marineland.
Writing on Instagram, Demers said: "New video taken Jan 14, 2023 above MarineLand and their last surviving orca Kiska. Her conditions continue to deteriorate while she floats in solitude."
Captured in Iceland back in 1979, Kiska is now 46 years old and has spent over four decades in captivity.
But since 2011, she has lived her life in isolation in a concrete tank and, as the Whale Sanctuary Project says, 'when not swimming in slow circles, she often floats in place, staring at the emptiness that is the inside of her tank'.
Although she no longer performs for the public, Kiska remains on display and is now officially the last captive orca in the whole of Canada.
The short clip of the drone footage has since received over 229,000 views and dozens of comments.
One YouTube user wrote: "Wow, that's horrible. I wish people stop paying money to go to these places."
"What's possibly more heartbreaking is that there's almost no chance of survival if they were to release Kiska into the wild," another wrote. "Nearly every Orca that has once been in captivity and then released died very shortly after."
They continued: "If Kiska was born in captivity, then there is no chance of survival, as no captivity born Orca released into the wild survived."
A third commented: "Poor thing must be lonely as hell."
While another said: "That tank is criminally dirty, whomever owns this park should be thrown into the tank along with getting fined up the ass and jail time."
"As if keeping them in captivity is not awful enough, having an intelligent and social animal alone in a small and dirty space is absolutely criminal and undignified," one user then added.
This isn't the first time that Kiska has touched people's hearts as last year, in 2021, footage of her banging her head into the tank walls went viral leading to anti-captivity and animal rights activists starting the hashtag '#Free Kiska'.
According to MarineLand officials, Kiska 'spends her golden years doing what she wants', according to the Whale Sanctuary Project.
Marineland's official website reads: "We have a strong record of providing for the welfare of our animals and will continue to prioritise their health and wellbeing as a central focus of our mission.
"We are proud of the positive impact we’ve had on millions of visitors over the years and the positive contribution Marineland continues to play in inspiring people to care about the animals we share the planet with."
UNILAD has reached out to Marineland for comment.