From our colleagues at C’est Assez! in France, we have received the devastating news that Moana died last night, on October 17, 2023 at Marineland d’Antibes. He was 12 years old.
Moana was born at Marineland’s orca show stadium on the French Riviera on March 16, 2011. He was conceived through artificial insemination. Moana’s mother is Wikie, who was born at Marineland in June 2001. His father is Ulises, who was captured in Iceland in November 1980 and since 1994, has lived at SeaWorld San Diego.
Moana is one of six orcas born at Marineland during the period from 1993 to 2013. He spent his entire existence in a small concrete amphitheater where his main role in life was to entertain crowds of tourists. Now that he is gone, three orcas remain at Marineland d’Antibes. They are: Inouk, Keijo, and Moana’s mother Wikie. They were all born in captivity and are 100 percent Icelandic. Inouk and Wikie are brother and sister. (Their mother is Sharkan, and their father is Kim 2.) Keijo is Moana’s half-brother. (Their mother is Wikie.)
Marineland d’Antibes is reportedly trying to get rid of its orcas. C’est Assez! received news last year that plans are being made to send the mammals to aquariums in Japan. Here, their living conditions would be even worse than they are in France.
C’est Assez! is filing a complaint of lack of proper care, and involuntary harm to an animal’s life. The organization is also seeking detailed information about the circumstances that led to Moana’s death. Julie Labille, who oversees communications and outreach at C’est Assez!, emphasized that a transfer to another facility would be another unbearable trauma for this group of orcas, that over the years, has experienced many deaths and forced separations. As she points out: “Wikie, who is no doubt traumatized and mourning the loss of her son Moana, should not have to also endure a transfer to another concrete tank.”
Featured image: In 1976, Marineland d’Antibes became the first amusement park in the world to purchase a wild-caught Icelandic orca. From 1970 to 1990, Marineland purchased eight wild-caught orcas: one from Canada, one from the United States, and six from Iceland. Over the years, Marineland’s breeding program produced six offspring. Moana, who was conceived through artificial insemination, was born on March 16, 2011. He died on October 17, 2023, at the age of 12. His mother Wikie is one of the last three surviving orcas at Marineland. Credit: Olivia Thevoz
How You Can Help
- Please sign this petition against sending Marineland’s orcas to Japan
- Help spread the word that orcas and dolphins do not belong in captivity
- Learn more about Marineland d’Antibes’ troubling history with orcas