Captive Orca Bashes Head Against Her Tank in Mental Distress

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Our recent Instagram repost is absolutely heartbreaking. It shows Kiska, an orca currently living in solitude at Marineland in Canada, repeatedly bashing her head against her tank in obvious distress. 

Kiska has been confined in her small tank, completely alone, for ten years. Orcas are extremely social animals, living and traveling in large family groups in the ocean. Kiska was captured at around three years of age and has lived the last 44 years of her life in captivity. 

Despite protests and campaigns by concerned animal lovers for Marineland to help this poor whale, Kiska has remained in solitary confinement since her last companion was moved to another facility ten years ago. 

All five calves that Kiska has given birth to while in captivity have died at young ages. 

There is an ongoing investigation of the Niagara Falls animal park, as a number of other marine animals have died in recent months. Reports state that the animals at Marineland are living in a state of distress due to poor water quality. 

The recent videos that have surfaced are just the most recent in a long line of complaints and calls to action on behalf of Kiska, whose mental and physical health appears to be declining. A former trainer of Marineland published footage of Kiska swimming around her tank trailing her own blood from a wound on her tail. According to the trainer, Kiska had been bleeding like this for months, though Marineland was quick to deny the accuracy of that claim. 

It is against Ontario animal cruelty laws to cause physical and mental distress to an animal. The footage posted is clear evidence of years of mental distress. Activists and protesters continue to press Marineland and government authorities to take action on Kiska’s behalf. 

Kiska and all other animals in captivity deserve so much better than this! 

At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef we stand with everyone speaking out for justice for Kiska! We hope and pray that one day the use of captive animals for entertainment and even under the guise of “public education” will end for good. 

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What are your thoughts on this heartbreaking story? How can we do better for captive marine animals? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

(Cover image: travelershigh/Shutterstock)

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