IMAGE: VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
We are heartbroken to hear that the young false killer whale named Chester has died at Vancouver Aquarium. Chester was found stranded in 2014 at less than four years of age and was deemed unreleasable. Although there were no existing alternatives for such a young false killer whale aside from captivity, many criticized #VancouverAquarium for painting Chester's life as that of a heroically rescued animal and were quick to point out that the facility appeared to jump on every opportunity to use him to aid their poor public image, instead of actually improving his quality of life in a concrete tank.
Vancouver Aquarium is a facility with a long history of controversy, lawsuits, and protests. From their former head trainer Christopher Porter's history of dealing dolphins in the Solomon Islands (Google #blooddolphins) all the way up to their two belugas dying in 2016 from a "mysterious toxic substance," it's been long battle for the animal rights activists and marine mammal scientists who have opposed the dolphinarium for decades.
Chester is the fifth cetacean to die at the park in the past 15 months. Only one remains at the facility. The aquarium is currently trying to appeal a new ban that was put on the further importation of cetaceans in city parks by the Vancouver park board.
We will be working hard to make sure Kina doesn't succumb to a similar fate at @sealifepark.