This was brought to my attention by regular visitor and Marineland fan “D”. I was referred to a news item on the OrcaHome.de web site which claims that Kiska is pregnant, with twins! Wow, if it is true, then the employees at Marineland must be ecstatic. That might also explain why Marineland didn’t fight the court case any further.
After July 2011, Kiska, a 35 year old female orca was separated from 9 year old male Ikaika, as he was dominant towards her. Today their reason of separation is publicly released. Kiska is pregnant with twins!
During September 2011, Kiska had an ultrasound. It is confirmed she is pregnant by Ikaika and is 4 months in the pregnancy. This was very exciting news for the employees of MarineLand…
Kiska will stay at MarineLand. She is due in October-December 2012, as the orca gestination period is 16-18 months. Her calves are both healthy and it’s a female and male, as said by MarineLand vets.
Remember, this is just a rumour, and Marineland is notoriously secretive about their animals. It might not be true.
From the Niagara Falls Review (includes a video):
Ikaika is back home.
The killer whale, the one at the heart of a custody battle between Marineland and SeaWorld, was removed from the Niagara Falls amusement park Saturday night by a fleet of transport trucks, a crane and more than a dozen Niagara Regional Police escorts cars.
“Ikaika was moved from Marineland to SeaWorld San Diego overnight,” confirmed Fred Jacobs, a spokesman for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, located in Orlando, Fla, via email Sunday. “We typically do transports of this type at night to avoid disruptions in local traffic and in our park operations. The transport went perfectly and (Ikaika) is in the water in San Diego now, swimming with the park’s other whales.”
NRP Staff Sgt. Pat McCauley confirmed the Niagara police were hired on special duty to assist with the transfer of the whale.
From The Orlando Sentinel (via Canada.com):
A 9-year-old killer whale at the center of an international custody dispute between a Canadian marine park and industry giant SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego over the weekend.
The overnight transport took place Saturday evening, just 24 hours after a U.S. judge denied a request from Niagara Falls, Ontario-based Marineland for an injunction that would have blocked SeaWorld from taking the whale, which is named “Ikaika” but nicknamed “Ike.”
SeaWorld had loaned Ike to Marineland about five years ago as part of a breeding exchange in which SeaWorld received four beluga whales. But Orlando-based SeaWorld informed the smaller park late last year that it intended to cancel the agreement once its initial term was up. Marineland had refused to relinquish the animal, arguing that SeaWorld did not have the authority to unilaterally cancel the agreement and that the two parties always intended Ike to remain long-term at the Canadian park.
From the Niagara Falls Review:
Lawyers for Marineland hoped an 11th hour temporary injunction would block the return of one of its two killer whales to SeaWorld Friday.
The injunction, however, was denied by a U.S. district court judge and that led to the dramatic transport of the 1,815-kilogram killer whale Ikaika Saturday night.
More than a dozen police cars, a crane and a number of transport trucks arrived at the Niagara Falls amusement park just after 6 p.m. Floodlights and the crane could be seen from the road as workers removed the male killer whale and lowered him into a waiting transport truck container filled with cold water. Two hours later, the convoy left for Hamilton, where the nine-year-old whale was loaded into a cargo plane outfitted with a holding tank. Ikaika was flown to California and to SeaWorld San Diego, where he was lowered back into a tank Sunday morning.
“The animal was attended to by vets and other zoological professionals throughout the process,” Fred Jacobs, a spokesman for the Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, wrote in an email.
The rest of the posts today, and a couple tomorrow will be on the news that Marineland shipped Ikaika back to SeaWorld San Diego. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If Marineland loses all of their Killer Whales (if Kiska dies), it will be a huge loss!
Whale leaves Marineland for San Diego
From Buffalo Business First:
It took a crane and a fleet of transport trucks to do it, but Ikaika the orca whale has returned home from Marineland to San Diego.
SeaWorld San Diego had loaned Ikaika to Marineland of Niagara Falls, Ont., in 2006 in exchange for four beluga whales. But SeaWorld’s parent company launched legal action last year to secure Ikaika’s return, according to the Niagara Falls Review.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
The Canadian theme park Marineland has sued SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in U.S. court, in the latest chapter of an international custody battle over a killer whale.
In its lawsuit, filed last week in Orlando, Marineland asks a federal court judge to issue an injunction that would prevent SeaWorld from retaking possession of an 8-year-old killer whale that SeaWorld loaned to Marineland five years ago.
Marineland says SeaWorld executives repeatedly assured it that the loan would extend for so long as Marineland was able to care for the whale, which is named “Ikaika” but nicknamed “Ike.” The park, located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, also says the purpose of the loan was to allow Ikaika to breed with Marineland’s only other killer whale, a female named Kiska, and that Ikaika became capable of mating only late last year.
Marineland suggests that SeaWorld wants to end the agreement now because one of its few other breeding-age males — a 12-year-old killer whale named Sumar — died last year at SeaWorld San Diego.
I also saw similar articles:
A couple of unrelated thoughts from Marineland…
I’ve been to Marineland a few times this year, and we’ve spent a lot of time at Friendship Cove where the Orca whales are kept. We watched the splash show a couple of weeks ago, and the last time we were there we went to the underwater viewing area.
Seeing the crowd watch the splash show reminded me of how important the killer whales are to Marineland. The people loved it. Kids were enthralled; parents were smiling with their kids, and people were getting really wet. If Marineland ends up losing Ikaika, Kiska dies, and they are left with no killer whales, I think it would really hurt their business.
When we were in the underwater viewing area, Ikaika was alone in the tank and spent a lot of time in front of the glass. It made for some nice pictures.
If you follow any of the comments on my YouTube videos, you know that one of the most popular videos is one of Topple Tower. So far it has almost 200,000 views! Recently someone left a comment as follows:
update: this ride will never operate again in niagara falls, RIP, structural CRACK
tsiemens 1 week ago
Well, I find it hard to believe that they won’t get it fixed. However, the sign at Marineland also doesn’t tell you the whole story. Temporarily means 3 months and counting…
Yesterday afternoon I went to Marineland with my family. We were there a month or so ago, but before that it had been a couple of years.
I was surprised at how busy it was on a Tuesday afternoon. The parking lot certainly wasn’t full (if you haven’t been, their parking lot is HUGE), but the overflow area was open, and cars were continually coming in and going out.
Since the park was so busy, we didn’t bother to try to go on any rides. We had brought our dinner, and then we watched the show in King Waldorf Stadium. To be honest, we weren’t really looking forward to it as the last several times we’d seen it we were quite bored. Well, sometime in the last couple of years they have updated the show. The animals still do most of the same tricks, but the show is funnier and definitely geared more towards the kids. About 15 minutes before the show starts, a guy comes out and is cleaning up the stage. He ends up goofing around, and does a lot to get the crowd involved. Once the show actually starts, he is there for a bit as well. My kids loved it. My daughter was particularly thrilled to see the dolphins.
After the show, we got some ice cream and frozen lemonade, and then walked to Friendship Cove to see the Orca whales and the Beluga whales. We just missed the tail end (no pun intended) of the splash show with the Orca whales. This was the first time I had seen Ikaika and Kiska together in many trips. A couple of years ago they always seemed to be apart, and earlier this year they were apart. Not this time. After the show, Ikaika followed Kiska around closely.
I didn’t bring my regular camera with me, but I did have my Blackberry, so here are some pictures from the show, and from Friendship Cove.