October 7, 2022
Watch ‘world’s loneliest orca’ repeatedly smashes her head against wall after living in tiny tank for a decade

HARROWING new footage shows the moment a MarineLand killer whale dubbed the ‘world’s loneliest orca’ violently bashes her head against the wall of her enclosure.

Killer whale Kiska is seen thrashing around in her isolated tank at MarineLand Park in Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada in a shocking video captured in June this year.

Kiska has been dubbed the 'world's loneliest killer whale' after living in isolation for the last 12 years

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Kiska has been dubbed the ‘world’s loneliest killer whale’ after living in isolation for the last 12 years
In the clip, Kaskia is seen slamming her head against the glass before swimming around her tank and repeating the behaviour

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In the clip, Kaskia is seen slamming her head against the glass before swimming around her tank and repeating the behaviour

In the minute-long video the orca circles her pool before appearing at a glass section of the enclosure that allows visitors to see the whales under the water.

The clip shows MarineLand’s last surviving orca slamming her head on the glass in front of stunned visitors before the crazed-animal circles again and repeats the worrying behaviour.

A caption on the video says the sped-up footage shows just 15 minutes of her day after spending the last 12 years in complete isolation.

It is not the first time Kiska has been filmed in distress, which experts think could have been caused by years of living alone having outlived her friends and five calves.

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Back in September 2021, footage of the tragic orca was captured by anti-captivity activist and whistleblower Phil Demers, who used to work at the park in Ontario.

The similar clip was shared with the caption: “This video was taken on Sept 4th, 2021. Anti-captivity activists entered MarineLand and observed Kiska, their last surviving orca bashing her head against the wall. Please watch and share. This cruelty must end. #FreeKiska.”

Demers posted a second video showing a closer image with the 44-year-old orca stirring up the water as she ferociously rammed herself against her walled enclosure.

The activist said: “This is dangerous and self-harming behaviour. Kiska is in distress.”

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TANK TORTURE

Kiska is said to have been captured in Icelandic waters in 1979, and has been living in captivity ever since.

At 45 years old, she has spent most of her life inside her marine park tank, surviving all of her mates and her five calves, activists claim.

Researchers and activists believe her behaviour is a result of her damaged mental and physical health and wellbeing from prolonged captivity.

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

Despite being 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.

“For Kiska, her isolation is torture.

“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.”

Phil 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.

“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 Marineand 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.

According to iNews, Rob Lott, end captivity campaigner at the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said the behaviour “is a direct, stress-related result of wild-caught Icelandic orca, Kiska being raised in an artificial, concrete environment for the last four decade”.

“Sadly, this isn’t unique and the repetitive, self-inflicted behaviour shown by Kiska has been seen in other captive orcas where years of boredom in barren, featureless tanks with little or no stimulation manifests itself this way,” he said.

“Chronic stress can compromise captive orcas’ immune systems and physiology causing illness and sometimes death. 

“Kiska has been without an orca companion since 2011 and is deprived of every aspect of the social culture she would have experienced in the wild. 

“Orcas, and indeed all whales and dolphins, are extremely poor candidates for life in captivity.”

MarineLand were not available for comment.

Kiska is the only orca still living at MarineLand Canada

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Kiska is the only orca still living at MarineLand CanadaCredit: google maps

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