Whale of a police escort for U.S.-bound killer whale

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    From the Toronto Star:

    Ikaika the killer whale was escorted out of the country in a procession worthy of a head of state.

    A witness said he counted at least 14 Niagara Regional Police cruisers, with lights flashing, two transport trucks and a crane slowly escorting the 9-year-old male orca from Marineland toward Hamilton airport on the QEW on Saturday evening.

    John (Ringo) Beam, manager of Rempel Maximum Ice Services in Niagara Falls, said he joked to some of the orca’s escorts that the procession from the amusement park around 9 p.m. seemed a tad excessive.

    “I said, ‘It’s a whale, not a head of state,’” Beam said Sunday. “It was overkill.”

    The departure of Ikaika, also called “Ike,” comes at the end of a nasty custody dispute between the Marineland amusement park in Niagara Falls and SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.

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