Many people thought of Kiska as the most lonely orca whale in the world. On Friday, Marineland in Niagra Falls, Ontario, where the animal lived for many years, told the public that it had died.
The theme park said in a statement (as reported by TMZ) –
“Marineland’s marine mammal care team and experts did everything possible to support Kiska’s comfort and will mourn her loss.”
Kiska was caught when she was just 3 years old, in 1979. She lived with a few other orcas in an aquarium in Iceland before being sold to Marineland.
While she was in Iceland, she shared a tank with an orca named Keiko, who later became famous as the star of the hit movie “Free Willy.”
Kiska had five calves while she was at Marineland, but they all died tragically young before she did. She has been alone since 2011, which is how she got her sad name.
Studies have shown that orcas are social animals, so being alone for so long is considered torture. Since the 1970s, Marineland has been criticized for how it treats its animals.
In 2021, a video of Kiska banging her head against the glass went viral, which led to an investigation of the facility. However, prosecutors later decided not to press animal cruelty charges.
In another video from earlier this year, she was swimming in circles in her tank, showing that she was still swimming alone after more than a decade.