TORONTO, Oct. 7 1997 - "Keeping whales in captivity is spectacularly cruel", according to Michael O'Sullivan, Executive Director for The Humane Society of Canada. The group described the death of a killer whale at the Vancouver Aquarium as a "preventable tragedy". The 21 year old male orca known as "Finna" was originally captured off the coast of Iceland. He had been held captive for nearly 17 years and was found dead early yesterday in his concrete tank.


"The numbers speak for themselves. At least 134 killer whales have been taken from the wild and 99 (or 74%) of them are now dead. What did the Vancouver Aquarium think was going to happen?" asked O'Sullivan.
He promised that his group will use every resource at its disposal and pursue every legal avenue available to prevent aquarium officials from carrying out their stated objective of finding a replacement for the dead killer whale from another facility. "The fate of killer whales born in captivity is appalling. Of 47 known pregnancies in captivity worldwide only 17 calves (or 36%) have survived," explained O'Sullivan, "and the Vancouver Aquarium itself has experienced multiple calf deaths in captivity."


CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

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