Worlds loneliest killer whale seen endlessly circling tank after family dies

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A heartbreaking clip has emerged showing a killer whale circling its tank alone after outliving all of its offspring and friends.

Kiska, who has been dubbed 'world's loneliest orca' was seen in the video thrashing around and circling the perimeter of her tank, splashing water over the side.

The 45-year-old creature is kept in a tank in MarineLand Park in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and it is believed she was captured off the coast of Iceland in 1979.

READ MORE: 'World's loneliest killer whale' filmed repeatedly smashing head against side of tank

But, as orcas are intelligent and social creatures, they need others around them and the loneliness Kiska faces appears to be affecting her behaviour.

Activist and former employee of MarineLand Phil Demers, 44, said: "Her mental and physical health is deteriorating."

He added: "Kiska is MarineLand’s last surviving orca. She was captured in 1979 in Icelandic waters and has been at MarineLand ever since.

"She repeatedly swims around her pool in the exact same way, even stopping briefly in some shallow water to shake erratically.

"Experts call it 'zoochosis'. Orcas are social animals and need to be with their families, or in the least with others of their own species."

Paul even went as far as describing Kiska's existence as "torture" but seems doubtful that it will get any better for her.

He said: "For Kiska, her isolation is torture. Sadly, Kiska’s fate is largely sealed at MarineLand as she is their property, and as no viable seaside sanctuaries exist, her future is heartbreakingly bleak."

Orcas can live up to 80 years old in the wild, but the longest any has survived after being born in captivity is SeaWorld Orlando's Kayla, just 30 when she died.

Experts claim orcas are simply not designed to live in captivity, travelling distances of 40 miles a day in the wild.

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Others argue it is up to keepers to provide them with enough mental and physical stimulation.

Marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute, Naomi Rose told National Geographic: "You have evolved to move great distances to look for food and mates then you are adapted to that type of movement, whether you’re a polar bear or an elephant or an orca.

"You put [orcas] in a box that is 150 feet long by 90 feet wide by 30 feet deep and you’re basically turning them into a couch potato."


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