Skip to content
Three orcas at surface © Christopher Swann/WDC

Orca Sportswear joins the WDC pod this World Orca Day

WDC has teamed up with Orca Sportswear this World Orca Day to safeguard whales and...
whale_meat

High levels of toxic contaminants in whale meat sold to public

WDC, together with partner organisations is calling on the Norwegian government to expand comprehensive and...
Humpback whale

Gravic Group are making waves for Climate Giants

We are thrilled to welcome Gravic Group as a new corporate partner for 2024-2025. Printing...
Icelandic hunting vessels in port

Hunts to return in Iceland as bleak summer for whales looms

After a long wait, the decision on whether fin whale hunts in Iceland can go...

Kiska the ‘world’s loneliest whale’ dies at Canadian theme park

Kiska the orca

Kiska, dubbed the loneliest whale in the world, has died at Marineland, a zoo and amusement park in Canada.

Caught in wild Icelandic waters she spent four decades held captive. She was just three years old when she was taken from the ocean, and her family, and condemned to a life in a barren, concrete tank.

The disturbing images recently circulated on social media showed her violently thrashing her head against the side of her tank, an indication of how a life in captivity for over forty years had severely impacted her social and psychological development. Kiska had been without an orca companion since 2011 and was deprived of every aspect of the social culture she would have experienced in the wild.

Orcas, and indeed all whales and dolphins, are extremely poor candidates for life in captivity as no tank environment can ever provide the conditions that these free-ranging, powerful, highly intelligent and socially complex creatures need to thrive.

We held out hope that Kiska might be retired to a coastal, open water sanctuary where she could enjoy the rest of her days in a more natural environment in the company of other ex-captive orcas. Sadly, that will never come to pass.

Like humans, the trauma of incarceration manifests itself in many ways: self-harm, psychosis, depression and aggression. It affects a whale or dolphin’s personality and their behaviour towards other individuals, including their offspring and often the humans training them.

Boredom is the most widespread condition and a serious concern for whales and dolphins held in tank because, as predators, they are denied one of the most important behaviours of their natural repertoire, the ability to hunt and forage.

We're calling on travel operators to stop selling tickets to these shows, and for the captivity industry to commit to our ethical phase-out model. No performances, no breeding, no wild captures, no trade between facilities, enhanced welfare conditions and support for wild sea sanctuaries.

We need make sure that this generation of captive whales and dolphins is the last, create sanctuaries where those currently held can be retired and, in some cases, rehabilitated for a return to the wild.

Please donate today to help put a stop to captivity.

Related News

Three orcas at surface © Christopher Swann/WDC

Orca Sportswear joins the WDC pod this World Orca Day

WDC has teamed up with Orca Sportswear this World Orca Day to safeguard whales and dolphins to call for robust management in UK MPAs. Marine...
Group of pilot whales underwater

Why do Faroese communities hunt pilot whales?

Lottie Pearson Lottie is WDC's stop whaling campaigner. She works to end whaling in Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. VIEW ALL LOTTIE'S BLOGS The...
Shorewatchers at the Knab

Celebrating three years of Shorewatch in Orkney and Shetland

Emma Steel Emma is WDC's Shorewatch coordinator. She works with volunteers to learn more about the whales and dolphins that live around our coast, so...
whale_meat

High levels of toxic contaminants in whale meat sold to public

WDC, together with partner organisations is calling on the Norwegian government to expand comprehensive and thorough monitoring and testing of all whale meat destined for...