New calls for investigation in Niagara Falls waterpark after death of killer whale


Published March 13, 2023 at 10:49 am

Marine rights group Animal Justice is calling for a new investigation into Niagara Falls’ attraction MarineLand following the death of the last Orca, Kiska, on Friday (March 10).

“Kiska endured a lifetime of suffering since she was stolen from her family as a baby near Iceland in 1979, and sold into the aquarium industry. Kiska gave birth to five babies, all of whom died young,” said the group.

In recent years, Kiska’s plight made global headlines as videos surfaced showing her floating listlessly in her concrete tank and at times, videos that were seen worldwide saw her bashing her body against the wall of her tank.

Animal Justice fought to free Kiska for over a decade, including by filing legal complaints on her behalf demanding Marineland be investigated and prosecuted for keeping her “in inadequate and unlawful conditions that experts say caused distress.”
“It is heartbreaking to know that Kiska will never have the chance to be relocated to a whale sanctuary, and experience the freedom that she so deeply deserved,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice.

“While no other orca will have to suffer the cruelty of captivity in Canada again, we are demanding justice for what Kiska endured at the hands of Marineland. We are calling on provincial authorities to make public the results of a post-mortem, and prosecute Marineland for the unlawful distress Kiska clearly experienced throughout her final years.”

Recent charges against MarineLand by Niagara Police were stayed in a St. Catharines court in December 2022 when the Crown decided that it would be against the public interest for the case to continue.

The charges were brought forward due to the passage of federal government’s Bill S-203 in 2019 that made it illegal for water parks to use animals, in this cases dolphins, in for-profit entertainment purposes.

MarineLand countered that its shows were for educational purposes.“Marineland of Canada Inc.’s educational presentation was designed by experts to provide Canadians with an accessible opportunity to learn about marine life,” the statement issued by the park in December 2021 read.

“Our animal presentation contains marine mammals undertaking behaviours they exhibit in ocean environments.”

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