Shouka May 2002
Shouka in Antibes just before her departure to USA
Here, Shouka is living her last hours in Antibes.
She is now being isolated it in a little basin where she receives her last light French lunch : one or two fishes. She does not suspect anything yet, she is confident, it is still a play for her…
Then, suddenly, all the trainers are gathering
around her, kissing her and saying her goodbye..
Their sorrow must be deep and real : these trainers raised Shouka, they fed her years after years and took care of her.
Now, she is leaving for as much smaller facility far from France and her friends, where she will be let all alone.
Is it a kind of death sentence? Undoubtedly.
But the hour is advancing, it’s 5 PM yet, the great trip will soon start…
The truck is waiting in front of Antibes doors since the morning. It soon will charge its « parcel »…
That’s in this « box » Shouka will join the airport at 4 AM in the morning and be loaded in a 747 cargo airplane.
Shouka will stay in this box more than 17 hours, with the noise of the cables striking on the metal and no one to take care of her, no trainer to travel with her. All alone in the dark…
The following day, Sharkan, the Shouka’s mother, is learning new
tricks. She whistles without end, as if she was calling her daughter. Is this only a part of her new show, as the trainers explain or is she crying ?
What does she really feel, this orca mom, in the deepness of her heart ? What does she think right now ?
Does she know that her daughter is away forever ? Does she know that her beloved little child will never return home ?
In the wild, young females leave their tribe, then come
back once they are pregnant.
Shouka will never do so.
And Val, the little brother who loved his sister so much ? What does he feel ? Here, some months before, he was giving her a kiss.
Is it by despair that Val is now striking his head against the edges of his basin ? All the family seems to be upset.
At this moment, Shouka is still there, in her isolation basin, just close near her family.
Why ? Orcas don’t understand.
Mike Ridell, the owner of Marineland, surrounded by some
Beautiful job, folks !
You finally succeded to remove your « surplus captive born orca » far
from your facility, well done !
The show must go one and Shouka was in excess.
No matter if she dies : French people will ignore it.
As they ignore how you killed in the same way an other « surplus orca », this poor Tanouk, that you
sent to Japan, where he died in october 2000.
All the pictures reproduced on this page
were pleasantly transmitted to us by Pierre who lives near Antibes
and allowed us to follow the various steps of this tragical transfer.
Thanks to him and to the other French activists who dare to involve in this
and fight openly the powerful « Marineland Death Empire »
See also Stephan Jacobs’ page (May 2002)
Shouka in her little basin in Ohio