From TheStar.com: 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
Association director Bill Peters told the Star he believes Marineland had a another killer whale lined up to join lone Kiska, but it fell through.
Now “they are following leads and looking for opportunities,” said Peters.
Killer whales shouldn’t be kept alone, according to both CAZA and
Ontario rules, and Peters said the issue was discussed during an Oct. 26
inspection of Marineland by the industry association.
CAZA announced in early October it would be conducting “unannounced
inspections on a four- to six-week schedule.” This was the first.
The association began its investigation of Marineland, along with the
Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, after a Star
series, in which 15 former trainers blamed sporadically poor water
quality and short staffing for ill health and death among its animals.
According to CAZA business manager Greg Tarry, who signed off on the
Oct. 26 tour, “there were no concerns identified,” other than the lack
of an updated water management protocol.
In a first report Oct. 3, CAZA identified water quality issues in
three pools, saying it had “an impact on the well-being of the animals
in the pools in question.”
The Oct. 3 report ordered Marineland, which pays dues to CAZA, to
hire an independent water engineering firm in order to “thoroughly
update” its water quality protocols “as soon as reasonably possible.”
On Tuesday, Peters said that Marineland has “sufficient information to make a decision soon.”
On Oct. 26, CAZA inspectors said Marineland’s water logs were “within
or very close to acceptable ranges when compared to industry
The investigation is ongoing, said Peters, stressing: “We still want
updated (water) protocols and the system assessed by an outside firm.”
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
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.