Kina is the last cetacean in the US from a Japanese drive fishery. In August of 2015 she was moved out of a sea pen to Sea Life Park, but the park and the university that sold her neglected to get the federally required permits for the transfer and completely disregarded Hawaii residents' legal right to testify at a public hearing to determine whether or not those permits were approved.
Since then she has lived in a small concrete tub behind the scenes of the park. The majority of her time has been spent alone, with not even shade from the sun, and almost no stimuli. The move from a sea pen to isolation for an extremely intelligent, deep diving, social animal is irrefutably cruel. For the first 8 months she was held without permits before being granted a "retroactive" transfer permit by Department Of Agriculture (DOA) in April 2016. This retroactive permit came after months of public outrage towards DOA for neglecting to enforce or remedy this illegal move. The also required "Permit To Possess" for Kina has yet to be seen, and many believe the park may not have been granted it at all.
It's important to know that Kina is an animal who in 1987 was herded into a cove with her entire pod, generations of family members, and picked out to be sold for a hefty sum. The rest of her family were deemed "pests" by fishermen and slaughtered. After six months of waiting at a marine park in China she was flown to Hawaii and worked for the US Navy for the next six years. Afterwards, she was transferred to the Hawaiian Institute Of Marine Biology at Coconut Island where she spent her days in the company of two bottlenose dolphins in a sea pen and was used for research conducted by the local university. That is until, after 23 years, she was dubbed too expensive to continue caring for and auctioned off to the highest bidder, Sea Life Park. Kina still remains in a tub in the back, out of the public eye, and with no escape confines of her tank.
HOW TO HELP?
-Share her story!
-File a report with the USDA for a violation of the Animal Welfare Act!
-Tweet our Governor and get Kina on his radar @govhawaii!