Custody of killer whale plays out in court

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    Another great article about the Marinlenad/SeaWorld court case, this time from the Toronto Star:

    Ikaika, an eight-year-old male killer whale at Marineland in Niagara Falls, is the equivalent of a troubled teenager. He is full of sexual energy, has a violent family tree and a pattern of aggressive behaviour that often leaves him swimming alone. Even so, two marine parks are waging a cross-border court battle for custody of the valuable orca.

    A St. Catharines judge recently ruled he be returned to SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla., where he was born in August 2002. The judge’s ruling focused on legal technicalities surrounding the “breeding loan agreement” between the two parks.

    Neither side is speaking on the matter publicly — both declined interviews with the Toronto Star — due to the pending appeal. Marineland repeatedly declined to comment on advice of their lawyers.

    “We stand by our filings in the court record,” said Fred Jacobs, vice-president of communications for SeaWorld, in an email.

    The court files, however, provide a rare glimpse into the dealings of the marine park community, which is notoriously private.

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