Killer whale filmed bashing head ‘in distress’

Kiska, dubbed by the Whale Sanctuary Project as “the loneliest whale in the world”, was seen thrashing against the side of her tank at MarineLand, Niagara Falls, in the heartbreaking 30-second clip.Footage of the tragic orca was captured by anti-captivity activist and whistleblower Phil Demers, who used to work at the park in Ontario.The footage was shared by Demers with the caption: “This video was taken on Sept 4th, 2021. Anti-captivity activists entered MarineLand and observed Kiska, their last surviving orca bashing her head against the wall. Please watch and share. This cruelty must end. #FreeKiska.”Demers posted a second video showing a closer image with the 44-year-old orca stirring up the water as she ferociously rammed herself against her walled enclosure.The activist said: “This is dangerous and self harming behaviour. Kiska is in distress.”According to Demers, Kiska was born off the coast of Iceland and had been in captivity since 1979.She has been alone since 2011 after outliving her tank mates, including her five babies. The Orca Rescues Foundation said: “For over 40 years, she has suffered the loss of her freedom, her babies, and all of her tank mates.“For the past 10, she has been in complete social isolation from others of her kind. This is what her loneliness, and her captivity, has done to her.”According to iNews, Rob Lott, end captivity campaigner at the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said the behaviour “is a direct, stress-related result of wild-caught Icelandic orca, Kiska being raised in an artificial, concrete environment for the last four decades”.“Sadly, this isn’t unique and the repetitive, self-inflicted behaviour shown by Kiska has been seen in other captive orcas where years of boredom in barren, featureless tanks with little or no stimulation manifests itself this way,” he said.“Chronic stress can compromise captive orcas’ immune systems and physiology causing illness and sometimes death. “Kiska has been without an orca companion since 2011 and is deprived of every aspect of the social culture she would have experienced in the wild. “Orcas, and indeed all whales and dolphins, are extremely poor candidates for life in captivity.”The Sun Online has contacted MarineLand for comment.This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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