So I posted back in January about a rumour I’d read that Kiska, Marineland’s remaining Orca whale, was pregnant. I hadn’t read the rumour anywhere else, but it was an exciting thought that there could be some baby Orcas on the way.
Well, I have an update. It has as much authority as the last one (as in not a lot). However I have a friend who knows a guy who used to be a trainer at Marineland and who still knows people at Marineland. I have been told that Kiska is NOT pregnant. Ike and Kiska never even got to a point where there is even that possibility. Ike was agressive because he was agressive. I was also told that it is virtually unheard of that an Orca would have twins.
So, there you have it. The original source is sketchy, my other source is a friend of a friend, so I don’t know how reliable either of them are. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
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 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:
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.
From the UK Daily Mail:
Two theme parks are waging an international custody dispute in court – over a 17-foot killer whale.
SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, is demanding the return of Ikaika, a two-tonne, captive-born orca that it sent to Marineland in Niagara Falls, Canada, in 2006.
But Marineland has defied the call – and a judge’s order – and insisted that Ikaika stays, dismissing SeaWorld’s claim that the mammal was only a temporary loan and branding the dispute ‘unfortunate’.
This is actually one of the longer articles I’ve seen about this. There are also a few nice pictures included with the article.
Marineland has been out of the news for a few years now. I occasionally see a very small group of protestors outside the park, but other than that, it’s been quiet. That all changed this week when a lawsuit and court decision came to light about the male Orca whale they have on loan from SeaWorld. I was under the impression that Ikaika (Ike) was under permanent loan from SeaWorld in exchange for several Beluga whales. Apparently there is more to it than that. Late last year, SeaWorld terminated the agreement and asked for Ike back. Marineland has refused to give him back, and now a court has ordered them to give the whale back. Marineland says they will appeal.
This is a big deal for Marineland. For decades now, they have been known for their Orca (killer) whales. If they lose Ike, they will only have one aging female Orca whale (Kiska is 32 years old, the 5th oldest Orca in captivity). If she goes, they will have none. They were really hoping that Ike and Kiska would produce some offspring, but it hasn’t happened yet.
You can read the following articles for full details: