Orca Moana Dies at Marine Park in France

Posted by on October 20, 2023 | Permalink

On the night of 17 October, Moana passed away. He was one of four remaining orcas held captive at Marineland, a marine park in Antibes in the South of France. In their ocean homes, male orcas can live up to 50 years, but Moana’s life ended after just 12.

He was born in captivity and spent his life confined to a concrete tank, swimming in endless circles. Moana was made to perform for over a decade before his health declined and he died.

Moana’s Mum Exploited for Her Reproductive System

Moana was the first orca in Europe – and the third in the world – to be born through artificial insemination. His 22-year-old mother, Wikie, is still at Marineland with two other orcas, half-brothers Inouk, 24, and Keijo, 9.

In its statement, the park described the death as “sudden and unexpected”, but it was far from surprising. Just last month, the French animal rights organisation One Voice requested a health check for Moana and Inouk. They’d noticed repetitive and stereotypic behaviour in both orcas – which is symptomatic of severe psychological distress – and that Moana had subdermal wounds.

Orcas Don’t Belong in Captivity


In their natural habitat, orcas share complex family bonds and swim over 100 miles a day, but at marine parks like Marineland, they swim in circles in cramped concrete pools and are forced to perform meaningless tricks. Orcas like Moana pay a high price to line the pockets of park owners. They endure a distressing environment and a life deprived of mental stimulation and often die prematurely from stress-related illnesses.

PETA has been campaigning for years to end the captivity of marine animals for entertainment. PETA France has contacted Marineland multiple times to request the transfer of these animals to suitable sanctuaries, organised protests in Antibes, and launched campaigns with celebrities in attempts to secure the release of the orcas. PETA US even bought shares in Marineland’s parent company, Parques Reunidos, to have influence within the company.

The confinement of these intelligent individuals is unacceptable. Although Marineland can’t undo the damage it caused Moana, there is still an opportunity to stop exploiting the orcas who remain there by transferring them to a coastal sanctuary and allowing them to experience a semblance of natural life.

Orcas Need Your Help

Never buy tickets to marine parks, and tell your friends to stay away from these watery prisons.

Jet2holidays promotes Marineland, the hellhole where Moana died. Please urge the travel provider to turn its back on the practice of exploiting cetaceans like him.