Heartbreaking footage shows 'world's loneliest orca' circling tank after outliving friends and family

Lisa McLoughlin

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Heartbreaking footage shows 'world's loneliest orca' circling tank after outliving friends and family

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Heartbreaking footage has been released of the 'world's loneliest' killer whale circling its tank after outliving its friends and its own offspring.

In video taken in June, Kiska is seen circling the perimeter and trashing water over walls of her isolated tank at MarineLand Park in Niagara Falls, Canada.

The female orca is said to have been captured in Icelandic waters in 1979, and has been in captivity ever since.

Activists have said the animal, who is approximately 45 years old, has not only survived all of her tank mates but also her five calves.

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Researchers and activists now claimed that her behaviour is a result of her damaged mental and physical health as well as wellbeing from prolonged captivity.

MarineLand has had 26 orcas pass through its tanks since it opened in 1962, with 20 of them dying there and the rest being traded or given away to other establishments.

Despite being well known to be social animals that thrive in groups, Kiska remains isolated from any other animal, not even another orca.

Former MarineLand employee-turned-activist Phil Demers, 44, who worked at the park for 12 years, said: "Kiska is MarineLand’s last surviving orca. She was captured in 1979 in Icelandic waters and has been at MarineLand ever since.

"Her mental and physical health are deteriorating and as seen in the video, she repeatedly swims around her pool in the exact same way, even stopping briefly in some shallow water to shake erratically.

"Experts call it 'zoochosis'. Orcas are social animals and NEED to be with their families, or in the least with others of their own species.

Footage of a killer whale, dubbed the 'world's loneliest orca', has been released. Credit: SWNS
Footage of a killer whale, dubbed the 'world's loneliest orca', has been released. Credit: SWNS

"For Kiska, her isolation is torture,” he claimed.

"Sadly, Kiska’s fate is largely sealed at MarineLand as she is their property, and as no viable seaside sanctuaries exist, her future is heartbreakingly bleak."

Demers became a whistleblower and went to the media to expose what he claimed was wrongdoing by MarineLand a decade ago.

A walrus named Smooshi was the inspiration for his fight against the park and has dubbed his campaign 'SaveSmooshi'.

Phil said: "I left MarineLand in 2012 because of ongoing issues that were grossly affecting the animals’ well-being and was being ignored for too long.

"I had to quit my job to force change, but it came at a price. MarineLand sued me in 2013 for $1.5M for plotting to steal a walrus. Our trial starts Oct 3rd. Finally.

The orca is seen thrashing in her isolated tank in MarineLand Park in Niagra Falls, Canada. Credit: SWNS
The orca is seen thrashing in her isolated tank in MarineLand Park in Niagra Falls, Canada. Credit: SWNS

"It’s no mistake MarineLand has made me jump through impossibly expensive legal hurdles throughout the last decade.

"Thankfully, with the support of the public who have largely covered my legal bills, I’m now in a position to force MarineLand to into court.

"I’ve been and remain clear, if they want to walk away from the trial, they must release my walrus.

"I’m just here fighting for a happy ending. My mission only ends once Smooshi and I are reunited. Until then, I systematically and methodically continue to destroy MarineLand. There is no other plan."

UNILAD has contacted MarineLand for comment.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: News, Animals, Canada

Lisa McLoughlin
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