World’s Loneliest Orca Has Been Living Alone in a Concrete Tank for Over 10 Years

Kiska, the last living killer whale at the Marineland marine park, has been dubbed the world’s loneliest orca after it was revealed that she has spent the last 10 years of her life alone in a concrete tank, with little to no stimulation.

Orcas, dolphins, and whales are among the world’s most intelligent animals; they are social creatures that require a lot of interaction and stimulation which those raised in captivity, unfortunately, don’t receive enough of. In one extreme case, a lonely orca that has spent most of her life in captivity and the last decade completely alone in a concrete tank, at a marine park in Ontario, Canada has been showing signs of extreme distress, like floating listlessly and banging her head against the sides of her enclosure.


Kiska was captured in 1979, when she was only a calf, near the coast of Iceland, and has spent the 42 years since in captivity. She was only three years old when Marineland purchased her, but at least she shared the tank there with others of her kind. At one point she gave birth to five calves, but they all died young, and, one by one, the other whales at the park perished as well. Eventually, she was the only one left…

Since 2011, Kiska has had no orca, or any kind of whale to interact with and this extreme loneliness has been taking a toll on her. Distressing footage filmed at Marineland shows the poor orca floating lifelessly in her tank and faintly moaning. Another video has her mindlessly banging her head against the side of her enclosure, a behavior that animal activists claim is connected to boredom and lack of interaction.

“This video was taken on Sept 4th, 2021. Anti-captivity activists entered MarineLand and observed Kiska, their last surviving orca bashing her head against the wall. Please watch and share. This cruelty must end. #FreeKiska,” anti-captivity activist and whistleblower Phil Demers wrote on Twitter.

Camille Labchuk, executive director of the national animal law advocacy organization Animal Justice, told CTV that Kiska is one of the few remaining marine mammals at Marineland and that it’s high time something was done to help her.

“She’s probably the world’s loneliest orca and that’s very sad,” Labchuk said. “It’s difficult to not feel sympathy for what she’s going through. We think it’s really important for enforcement agencies to take this issue seriously, and it’s necessary and appropriate to do what they can to help Kiska.”

After seeing the distressing footage of Kiska, Dr. Naomi Rose, a scientist with the Animal Welfare Institute, confirmed that the orca’s condition is serious and that she needs help immediately.

“At a minimum, she should have long since been transferred to a facility with other orcas or provided with individuals of another cetacean species as companions,” Rose said. “Under no circumstances was allowing her completely solitary state to continue — especially given her practically inert response to it — the appropriate choice.”

In the past, PETA called Marineland “one of the worst places for marine animals in the world,” noting that dozens of dolphins and whales have died there over the last decade alone. The marine park has always denied that any of its animals are in distress, but these latest videos of Kiska paint a different picture.


Kiska’s desperate situation reminded us of another tragic story we featured a while back, that of Honey, “the world’s loneliest dolphin,” who died after years spent alone in the pool of an abandoned marine park in Japan.