I have a regular blog visitor who is quite a fan of Marineland and he often sends me some notes of what he sees. Here are some of his comments/observations from a recent trip:
- Kiska is not pregnant, confirmed by staff, trainers and tank supervisor. Kiska is only lapping around her tank, gained some weight but NOT pregnant
- MLC employees know nothing of Shouka rumor (check the May 22 news item on orcahome)
- Tofino and Charmin (belugas) sent to stadium, performing in show once training is finished later this year
- No beluga pregnancies confirmed yet
- Eve, Neva, Charlotte and Mira , who are turning 3 (not Eve, she is 3 going on 4) this year are now at Friendship Cove, as part of weaning process from mothers.
- Dock (sea lion) is presumed dead (Check MLC Fans)
- Skyla’s calf still unnamed; Jubilee’s calf also un-named
- Caspian recovered from stillbirth in September
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 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.
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: