Update on Shouka the Killer Whale
There has been no change with Shouka the Killer Whale since the last article. Shouka, living in a pen at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, is all by herself with no companion to be found. Even after the many letters sent to APHIS by several of you (animal and plant health inspection services) there has been no improvements. The creator of the petition, Wendy Brunot, has yet to have a response regarding Shouka’s companionship. Every time the petition is signed an email is automatically sent to APHIS. Wendy explained,“Last year year I went there to keep tabs on her. I turned in some violations to APHIS and they corrected a few things but they still haven’t corrected the main issue, which is her companionship”. This is a major problem that needs to be resolved. APHIS needs to put some pressure on Six Flags Discovery Kingdom to give Shouka a companion.
Recently there has been news that Shouka could be moved to Marineland, Canada. This is devastating news, as Marineland has previously had two Orca’s removed from their facility (both on loan from SeaWorld) due to poor living conditions. Wendy is concerned also, she said, “If she goes to Canada, and the other Orca there dies, then she’s in the same position. She’s alone again. There are no laws in Canada that can protect her”. After some investigating, it appears that Canada doesn’t have a clause in their animal welfare act concerning marine mammals. The good news is that it appears that Shouka could still be on loan to Six Flags from Marineland, Antibes in France. Should Six Flags try to move Shouka to Marineland Canada then Marineland, Antibes in France can and will intervene.
Shouka has spent a total of four years or more in seclusion. Recent studies would suggest that leaving a highly social mammal of Shouka’s size with no companion can lead to aggressiveness. Wendy doesn’t know if Shouka is aggressive towards humans, but she did state that trainers do not get in the water with her. This could be a large indication that perhaps Shouka is aggressive and therefore she needs a companion immediately. If she was left alone longer it is a large possibility that she could become destructive towards humans. This has to change; Six Flags still has a chance to adjust this.
The petition that Wendy has created can be found here. Her petition states that Six Flags should give Shouka a companion that is already in captivity. Wendy explained, “If Shouka’s going to be in captivity, and that’s how it’s going to be in this moment, then the least they can do is take care of her for what her needs are as a social animal. I don’t want to see her there, but realistically where else can she go? There are no sea pens out there for her. There are no other options for her”. Wendy doesn’t condone animals being imprisoned in captivity but if they are going to do so she believes they should at least care about their welfare. Six Flags appear to be ignoring the Animal Welfare Act section 3.109.
What can you do to help? Sign Wendy’s petition of course. Tweet it, share it on Facebook and email it to everyone you know. You can also urge six flags to give Shouka a companion by tweeting @SixFlagsDK. Hashtags that frequent twitter are: #Shouka #SixFlags #DiscoveryKingdom & #KillerWhale. Adding the link to the petition, or even this article will lead anyone interested in the right direction! Let’s put some pressure on Six Flags and get Shouka the companion she truly deserves. No being deserves to live a lonely life.
Special thanks to Wendy Brunot for speaking to me about Shouka.