By Kirsten Massebeau
. In November of 1979 off the coast of Ingólfshöfði, Iceland a young female orca,and three other pod members were violently captured, their lives changed forever:
She was captured in 1979 along with three others; King, Caren and another female who was unnamed. Kiska and the one female were sold to Marineland, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The other female was then transferred to Kamogawa but died shortly after. Kiska was joined by Nootka V, Kandu VII and Junior. Kiska had five calves by Kandu VII; one died after 62 days by drowning, Kanuck lived for 4 years but died of traumatic shock and Nova who was born in 1996 and died in 2001 of pneumonia and starvation, in 1998 Hudson was born but died in 2004 of meningitis, and Athena born in 2004. After Kandu VII died on Christmas eve in 2005, Nootka V joined Kiska but tried to steal Athena away. During that time, Kiska was separated from her calf until Nootka died in 2008. She was then reunited with Athena and Marineland brought in Sea World’s Ikaika, also known as Ike to help with breeding. Ike and Athena got along until Athena’s death in 2009. Kiska is now alone, but retired from show as she is now 39 years of age. Probably one of the second oldest whales in captivity. Sea World and Marineland engaged in a nasty custody battle over Ike as he was on loan to Marineland for breeding but Sea World didn’t like the way he was being used and were also not impressed with the facilities. They won the battle and Ike is in San Diego as of November 2011. Kiska now remains alone, floating around the back pool of Friendship Cove(source)
Video obtained of Kiska by Alex Dorer of Fins and Fluke shows lone Kiska floating listlessly in her pool at the dilapidated Marine Park. Marineland is under scrutiny soley thanks to the Marineland Whistleblowers. In August of 2010 the Star began publishing a series of articles that would change history and the worlds view of Marine Parks forever as Phil Demers and other former trainers came forward exposing conditions of abuse and neglect at Marineland in Niagara Falls, Canada. The article, “Marineland animals suffering, former staffers say” by Linda Diebel, published Wednesday Aug 15, 2012 revealed what goes on behind closed doors, with example after example, complete with pictures of the terrible neglect and suffering.
Les Stroud and the Orca Conservancy have now come forward to support the Marineland Whistleblowers. Each day you can help by voting for Les Stroud at the Bille Celebrity Challenge. By supporting the Whistleblowers we are supporting all the animals that continue to suffer at Marineland and that includes the lone orca Kiska. Alex Dorer of Fins and Fluke said it best: “Kiska, she needs us and the Whistle Blowers to keep fighting against Marineland so please vote for Les Stroud everyday”.