Well, technically I got back a week ago, but it was harder getting caught up on work and family and church responsibilities then I thought.
As we often do in the late winter or early spring, we headed down to Florida. We rented a house for two weeks and went to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Busch Gardens, Seaworld, and Aquatica numerous times. At some point in the next couple of weeks I’ll post some more thoughts (I’ve done this in the past) on what Niagara Falls can and can’t do to meet the Orlando standards.
Regular posting will resume now…
From the Niagara Falls Review:
Facing 11 counts of animal cruelty from the OSPCA (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), Marineland is touting the results of a recent inspection by its own Animal Care Committee. Read More…
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:
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:
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.