Marineland owner John Holer trying to acquire another killer whale
Marineland owner John Holer is trying to acquire another killer whale for his tourist park, according to the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums, reports The Star.
One year ago, Ikaika, a killer whale on loan from SeaWorld, was retuned to the U.S. after Marineland lost a custody case, leaving Kiska alone. Marineland has had 26 killer whales over roughly three decades, according to the animal welfare group, Zoocheck Canada. Of these, 16 died at Marineland.
Three are still alive: Kiska and two elsewhere. Six died in other parks after being transferred while one died en route from Marineland to Japan.
Junior, a killer whale born like Kiska near Iceland, spent the last four years of his life indoors in a small concrete pool in a converted factory made of concrete, with little natural light. Kiska is the last of Holer’s killer whales; her five calves all died.
The file kept by Zoocheck is approximate, according to Julie Woodyer, its campaigns manager. She said trying to find out information about marine mammals in Canada is a “free-for-all” because there are no regulations covering captive animals.
Former trainer Christine Santos told the Star in mid-October that Kiska had been bleeding from her tail off-and-on since July. She said she had seen Kiska cut her dorsal fin on sharp fibre glass drain covers in her pool, but didn’t know how she cut her tail. Santos was fired the same day she talked to the Star. She said she was asked to sign a document saying she’d never seen animal abuse at Marineland. She refused. Marineland has threatened to sue Santos for more than $1 million.
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