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Shouka Six Flags Killer Whale Update May 18, 2012 – France intervenes

May 18, 2012

With the pressure on Six Flags to find Shouka, their star killer whale a new compatible companion, news of  her move is being discussed among attorneys.  It was announced on May 17th, 2012 that Shouka is still on a breeding loan from Marineland France to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in California and a contractual dispute is occurring.

“That park loaned a killer whale to a  Six Flags in California for breeding purposes. But suddenly Six Flags wants to give the animal away to an unrelated party in Canada. Now, the parks are in a contractual dispute over one very large marine mammal named Shouka.”

This announcement brings another surprise, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is trying to relocate Shouka to a facility in Canada which just last year had a killer whale removed from their park due to not “caring properly for him“.  SeaWorld Inc. had loaned a male killer whale to Marineland of Canada in 2006 and last year were forced into suit with Marinleand Canada to get their killer whale back. Marineland Canada filed suit against SeaWorld in retaliation to SeaWorld’s request to bring Ike back to SeaWorld…it became a bitter custody dispute with SeaWorld prevailing in the end.

The removal of Ike from Marineland Canada left the facility with only one 35 year old female orca named Kiska. Transferring Shouka to Marineland Canada is not in the best interest of Shouka. The laws in Canada regarding captive marine mammals are not as strict as U.S.A. laws which means the quality of care for an orca in Canada do not meet the minimum requirements of U.S.A. laws. If Kiska was to die, Shouka could be allowed to remain alone with no law to fight for Shouka’s rights in place. Orcas are extremely social beings. To live alone would be equal to a human being living in isolation for the remainder of their lives.

This move by Six Flags Discovery Kingdom proves they are not able to properly care for Shouka under the current U.S.A laws and are finally being forced to figure something out.  Many believe that the best interest for Shouka would be to go back to France were she was born and also has some siblings who still reside there. In France Shouka has a sister, brother, half-brother, nephew and an unrelated older female with whom she lived the first 9 years of her life. France also raised Shouka for the first 9 years old her life and have more experience with Shouka.

Shouka had been singly house for the last 7 years with minimum access to a wild caught dolphin named Merlin. Also for a short time another bottlenose dolphin named Cupid had been housed with Shouka and Merlin. Six Flags trainers had hoped Cupid and Shouka would be able to perform together by Christmas of 2008. In the end Cupid was removed from Shouka Stadium and placed with other bottlenose dolphins that reside at Six Flags. In 2011 it was observed Shouka was no longer being housed with Merlin and she was all alone. Merlin had been moved to another part of the park with other bottlenose dolphins due to incompatibility issues between him and Shouka. With public pressure placed on APHIS to enforce the laws, Six Flags seems to now be defeated into acknowledging they can not properly find Shouka a compatible companion and must get rid of her but Canada is not the best option for Shouka either.

Here’s a bit of history about the orcas who have resided at Marineland Canada –

1. According to Zoocheck Canada, Marineland Canada has exhibited 29 killer whales since 1970 and only one orca resides there today.  Out of  the 29 killer whales they have owned 9 of those orcas were transfered to other facilities with only 2 of those orcas still alive today. Twenty killer whales have died in Marineland Canada’s care.

2. They housed “Junior”  a young juvenile wild caught male orca in a warehouse hidden away from public  with no natural sunlight for four years until he died. Junior was placed in the warehouse alone because he was beaten up on and did not get along with the other orcas. Footage of the conditions Junior was kept in during his time of isolation can seen in the documentary “A Fall From Freedom“.

3. All of the baby killer whales born at this facility have all DIED with the oldest living only 11 years.

1992 – Male baby lived only 2 months

1998 – Female baby lived only 11 days

1998 – Kanuck dies at 4 1/2 years old

2000 – Malik dies at almost 5 years old

2001 – Nova dies at 4 1/2 years old

2001 – Miscarriage of calf

2002 – Algonquin dies at 2 1/2 years old

2004 – April dies at 1 month old

2004 – Miscarriage of calf

2004 – Hudson dies at 6 years old

2004 – Neocia dies at 11 years old

2006 – Miscarriage of calf

2009 – Athena dies at 4 1/2 years old

4. Just in 2011 an American court of law found their facility to be unable to properly care for a killer whale and granted the killer whale be imported back to America.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom claims to care so much about Shouka publicly yet are considering relocating her to a facility which was just proven unfit for a SeaWorld orca?

New undercover footage exposes neglect & abuse happening at Marineland Canada 2012

Our hopes are that Marineland France will step in and actually bring Shouka back home. The facility in France is much larger compared to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and Marineland Canada. Watch for an upcoming campaign to Send Shouka Home.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Kelsey permalink
    May 23, 2012 3:29 am

    Well its better than being alone…for either or orca. Why make Kiska Suffer too? MLC is not what it was in the 70s…so they had a bad breeding happens, because SW has all the good breeding orcas. Also Ike was HEALTHY and FINE, the death of SUmar left SW with one less breeding male so they wanted him back. It may state it had to do with his so called wellfare, but its about that hes a breeding male…that is all SW cares about. If MLF and Six flags are SMART they will Move Shouka with Kiska. We will gladly welcome and care for Shouka in Canada!

  2. Kelsey permalink
    May 24, 2012 4:10 am

    Obviously, you know nothing….MLC has the second biggest housing for orcas than SW…and its nothing like it was in the past *shakes head* Im sick of people basing their facts on the past. MLC cares for its orcas. Its not their fault that Kandu was not a good genetic breeding male, it happens and SW has lost more orcas than MLC ever had. Seriously, consider this a GREAT thing, neither orca should be alone, and maybe MLF doesn’t want to spend the money to ship it back over seas and the trip to Canada would be shorter and less stressful…and then Kiska would have a companion as well and MLF will probably AI her anyways regardless….MLC has a better facility for caring for a baby orca than SFDK…seriously bring these two together..and care about Kiska…stop leaving her out!

    • June 10, 2012 1:22 am

      What about Junior & the other orcas that were kept in the warehouse at MLC??

      MLC also never had as many orcas as SW so the two parks don’t compare in that aspect.

      I agree that neither Kiska nor Shouka should be left alone. What happens though if Kiska should die? Shouka would be in the same position she is in now and there would be NO laws protecting her from isolation.

      • Kelsey Jackson permalink
        August 18, 2012 2:19 pm

        Omg lol the warehouse? Lol they haven’t put an orca in that thing since the 90s….lol they learned that lesson. No one really knows the TRUE story of Junior..why he was in there….I dont agree he should of been in there, but he was picked on and sick…annd they had no other tanks..where else was he suppose to go? No other park wanted him…so they only had the warehouse pool to house him. I also heard that he got time in the outdoor pools in off season. If Kiska was to die, Shouka would be resent to France, as her contract would state. The ONLY reason why MLC fought to keep Ike was because they knew SW was in the wrong and would subjecting their orca to isolation. MLC loves its orcas, you can’t convince me otherwise…

      • August 24, 2012 9:12 am

        We are not trying to convince you of anything and Jr. should have never been locked away period. They should have thought about those things BEFORE they took him to their faciltiy sorry your excuses do not justify his isolation in our eyes.

  3. Annie permalink
    May 24, 2012 11:18 pm

    Its interesting that you think it would be better for Shouka to return all the way to Marineland France, she was loaned to Six Flags for breeding purposes and yet she only has siblings at her original location. Even though killer whales are able to successfully breed with siblings (you won’t see effects of inbreeding until the 3rd generation), the entire point of an SSP or breeding plan in the USA or anywhere else is for genetic diversity.

    Your arguement for Shouka to endure that much stress from traveling is so that she can receive proper care and companionship. There are other choices for Shouka that do not require traveling all the way to France, and it is not a final decision that she will be going to Marineland of Canada.

    The arguments posed for her return to France are not significant because she is able to find proper care at closer locations and legitimate opportunities to breed.

    • June 10, 2012 1:31 am

      Shouka has been on a breeding loan for 10 years and has not bred once. Why should there be another baby born into a live of concrete? The parks have means to stop inbreeding. They can determine when a female is in estrous and keep the female away from any males at that time and they also have birth control.

      Shouka could go to SW and have companionship & breed, but again, WHY add more babies?? These parks are doing nothing to re-populate any wild orca pods nor could any of the captive bred orcas ever be released into the wild should wild pods become threatened. The only reason they are there is for profit.

      I don’t like the fact that there will be stress placed on Shouka whether she moves to SW or France. Either way, it’s going to cause her stress. And what about the stress she has been under for the last 9 months of isolation?

      Maybe it’s something Six Flags should have thought about before they decided to rip her away from her family. They KNEW the permit for Kshamenk had not been approved before bringing Shouka to the U.S. yet they still brought her anyways to live a life of isolation.

  4. Carlie permalink
    June 15, 2012 7:54 pm

    Marineland Canada is horrible. Shouka would be better off dead than going to that place. Neither Marineland France nor Canada should get her. Retire her and Kiska and be done with it.

    • Ashley permalink
      July 24, 2012 1:51 pm

      You are so right. Marineland Canada is a disgusting pit of filth and misery. It needs to be closed down. I can’t believe the disgusting idiots who are actually defending this grimey tourist trap. It is nauseating that these people are defending and encouraging the breeding of these animals for the continuation of the industry that does nothing but exploit them. The fact that these young whales are taken away from their families and sent all over the world as baby machines makes me sick.

      • Kelsey Jackson permalink
        August 18, 2012 2:22 pm

        Don’t judge a place until you’ve BEEN, talked to trainers and the vets…you’re getting the media’s side of the story and from former trainers who screwed up somewhere and got fired so they have nothing better to do than to attack MLC and make things worse. Do your research GO yourself….don’t jump on the assumption train because of facts based in the 70s, 80s and 90s…because its not what goes on NOW.

      • August 24, 2012 9:13 am

        No Thanks no need for us to go there. Thank You for your comments

      • Rosemary permalink
        September 9, 2012 5:24 pm

        Kelsey Jackson….you must be John Holer posting or his vet….you are disgusting.

  5. Penny, UK permalink
    August 15, 2012 7:07 pm

    Do not ever visit any of these disgusting places – boycott them – if they fail to make enormous profits they will close down and these poor creatures will finally be released to a place where they will be properly looked after – ideally let loose into the wild if possible.

  6. Sara W permalink
    August 20, 2012 9:56 pm

    Shouka was not on the schedule at all on Sunday. I am sure the pressure of not being forced to preform helps Shouka. Why is she not performing? I unfortunatly went to a show three weeks ago and they ended it due to Shouka refusing to preform. I emailed sea Sheppard and now vow to not attend the shows again. I hope there is resolution quickly.

    • Kim permalink
      August 27, 2012 9:23 am

      She didn’t Do the show because they were getting ready to move her to sea world

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