NIAGARA FALLS, ON, July 31, 2015 /CNW/ - Kiska is a forty year old female killer whale who has lived at Marineland for decades.
For a killer whale she is now quite elderly and enjoys a pace and activities consistent with her advanced years.
Some extremists have suggested she is young, in an effort to force her to be moved, for their own ideological reasons, and without any regard for the truth or her health.
This is what we know.
The studying of killer whales started seriously in 1973, so lifespan data is quite new. Of the 500 whales studied in the wild 97% lived to be less than 50.
A major independent scientific study of killer whales from 1995-2004 found the mean life expectancy for killer whales in the wild is 30 years for females and 19 years for males.
With the best scientific data we have, we believe Kiska to be quite elderly.
While elderly, Kiska is presently quite happy and content.
Like any senior citizen, Kiska enjoys her daily routines, which in her case include enrichment, games, and tummy rubs.
She lives in a two pool complex which is, by multiple times, the largest pool housing a killer whale anywhere in the world.
All the water in her pool is completely circulated, filtered, cleaned, and returned to her pool every three hours. This is accomplished by a modern, computerized, multi-million dollar water control system, which was independently inspected and approved by a leading independent engineering firm.
To be clear, Kiska receives excellent, constant care and attention.
Kiska receives a full examination every day to monitor her physical health.
Her teeth are rinsed every day, the same way you or I brush our teeth. While doing this, her mouth, tongue, eyes and blowhole are all examined along with her entire body.
This isn't accomplished by one or two people. A dozen staff members are dedicated to caring for Kiska every day.
Everything she does is recorded approximately every half hour into log books.
Everything she eats, down to the pound, is also recorded and carefully monitored.
All her records are reviewed by qualified veterinarians and have been inspected by the College of Veterinarians, experts from the OSPCA, and Government appointed independent experts.
All found her to be in good health for her age.
All Kiska's food is high quality fish which are fit for human consumption and prepared in a restaurant quality sterile environment.
A team of professional marine mammal veterinarians are responsible for her health and review her health and overall condition. That medical team determines if and when she needs medicine, the same way any person receives medical advice from their own doctor.
Kiska receives as good or better health care than almost any person.
Extremists call for Kiska to be moved to a sea pen from the home she has contentedly lived in for decades.
That is cruel, dangerous and unhealthy. The collective view of those who care for her is a move will kill her.
This is what the UK Report, strongly supported by the extremists, says about Sea Pens:
"There are practical problems with sea pens, relating to ensuring the provision of good quality water at all times, the prevention of the buildup of pathogens and parasites and to the safety of animals in extreme weather conditions. These can only be solved by having provision for water treatment if necessary, by constructing pens so that they can be easily cleaned and by having alternative accommodation available to which animals can be moved, when required. It therefore appears that all the facilities of a conventional establishment would be required to provide the backup necessary to ensure the welfare of animals at all times, making the use of sea pens a very expensive option"
No such facilities exist and moving an elderly killer whale to a disorganized sub-standard facility run by well-meaning but grossly unqualified extremists, is simply cruel to her, disorienting, and will, no doubt, kill her.
If history provides any examples, look what happened to the elephant forced from the Toronto Zoo. Dead in a year after a traumatic move forced by extremists without true regard for the animal's age and health.
We will not let that happen to Kiska.
We have cared for her for decades and we will continue to do so throughout, what we hope will be her long and healthy life.
Kiska is happy and healthy and we encourage all of you to come see her for yourself at Marineland.
For further information: Media Contact: Ann Marie Rondinelli, Marketing Office Manager, Telephone: 905-356-2142, Email: [email protected]