Will Niagara Falls’ Marineland open in 2022 and what will be the fate of their orca whale Kiska?

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Published October 25, 2021 at 4:45 pm

Add St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle to the growing voices calling for either the closure or complete business overhaul of Marineland in Niagara Falls.

“Marineland is an embarrassment for Niagara and it’s long since time it changed its business model. Thank you to (activist Phil Demers) for continuing to put a spotlight on Marineland’s treatment of its animals,” said Bittle in a tweet.

Marineland has become a lightning road of controversy since Niagara Falls resident Demers,  a former Marineland trainer-turned-whistleblower, took up the cause nine years ago that the animals being held at the water park were in some despair.

Since then, the sole Orca whale left at the facility has become centre of a world-wide campaign to “Free Kiska.”

Video emerging from the park show the whale being listless and alternatively, smashing her head against the glass in her tank.

While Marineland wouldn’t return our calls (making us just one of dozens of publications doing a story without a statement from the park), they have slapped Demers with a defamation lawsuit that is going to pre-trial next month.

None of this has stopped Demers from opening stating that October 10, the last day Marineland was open for the 2021 season, was, in fact, the park’s last day period.

“Tomorrow, Marineland will claim they’re opening again in 2022. Today, I’m reminding you they won’t,” tweeted Demers that day. The only mention on the water park’s website is that they are “closed for the season.”

Demers said his nine-year campaign against Marineland started due to the breakdown on the water disinfectant unit in 2012. It has since grown to far more.

Recently, a Toronto publication did a large spread on the park, saying its owners are in the process of shopping the land around to developers with a price tag of $300 million. However, their only source for the story was Demers.

However, the Free Kiska story has literally become a world-wide protest as foreign publications splash down on the issue.

The water park remains mum on any potential 2022 opening while Demers is adamant it won’t happen. Apparently, residents will have to wait until May 2022 to get the answer. As for releasing Kiska, that voice just keeps getting louder. You can see Demers speak of the orca below on a TV interview.

(Photo of Kiska, a Free Kiska protest painting in Greece and Demers courtesy of Twitter)

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