Marineland plan for 2nd orca gets mixed reaction

by | Nov 15, 2012 | News

Orcas are highly social animals that prefer to live in groups. COURTESY WIKICOMMONS

By Jessy Bains

The tourist park Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont., is hoping to add a second killer whale to keep its existing orca company, but some critics are raising questions about the issue of animal welfare.

The Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums on Thursday confirmed to Humber News the news about the plans for the second orca.

Marineland currently has one female orca named Kiska and the zoo association’s national director Bill Peters said his group is in favor of the move.

“Our policy is orcas should be maintained as more than a single whale because they are social animals that prefer to live in groups,” Peters told Humber News.

Peters said Thursday the idea of adding a second orca was brought up during an unannounced inspection on Oct. 26.

“They are in the process of acquiring another orca.”

“Our inspector discussed it with Marineland staff during his last visit.”

Peters told Humber News that everything appeared to be up to standards during the visit.

“That means zilch to me,” Barry Kent MacKay, a director for animal welfare organizations Animal Alliance of Canada and Zoocheck Canada, told Humber News.

“All that they do is say that certain things must be done, for example there needs to be water provided,” said MacKay.

MacKay said he opposes Marineland’s plans to add another orca.

“Instead of adding another, they should subtract one,” said MacKay.