Kiska, the last killer whale in captivity in Canada, has died at the age of 47.
Killer whale named Pussy Canadian theme park Marinelandthe last killer whale in the country, which swam alone in its aquarium for more than a decade, has died.
Brent Ross, spokesman for the Solicitor General’s Office in Ontario, which oversees animal welfare in the province, said on Monday that a theme park in Niagara Falls, Ontario, informed the province of the death last week.
Kiska was believed to be 47 years old and had lived in Marineland since she was captured in Icelandic waters in 1979. She was captured along with Free Willy’s Keiko, and the couple lived together for several years in Marineland. in the 1980s. Keiko sold to an aquarium in Mexico in 1985 and eventually ended up at SeaWorld in the USA.
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Kiska appeared at shows at Marineland for many years, but did not perform for more than ten years. She spent this time in a large pool in Friendship Bay, separated from a flock of belugas.
SeaWorld has also discontinued its killer whale theatrics and ended its breeding program in 2017, meaning its current killer whales will be the brand’s last generation in captivity.
Marineland told the Niagara Falls Review that the killer whale’s health had recently deteriorated “despite intensive intervention” by theme park staff and an international team of veterinarians.
On Friday, specialists hired by Marineland performed an autopsy in the presence of local authorities, Ross said.
Marineland owner Marie Holer declined to comment.
In 2021, the province found problems with Theme parks water system and ordered repairs to pools that house belugas, dolphins, walruses, sea lions and pussies, court documents show. Marineland initially appealed the order, denying the findings, but later dropped the appeal.
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Since January 2020, the province has inspected the theme park 160 times but has refused to release the results of the inspections.
Christine Santos, who coached Kiska for 12 years until Marineland fired her in 2012, said she was shocked by the news of her death.
“But at the same time, I’m just really glad that she’s not alone anymore,” Santos said.
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Pussy was calm and easy to work with, but sometimes mischievous. According to Santos, she sometimes tricked new coaches into giving her “more fish and more friction”.