Someone has defaced a statue of an orca at the Oak Bay Marina, the site of a now-closed aquarium where a trainer was killed in 1991.

The statue, a holdover from when Sealand of the Pacific was operating at the marina, was seen in photos covered in red spray paint resembling blood.

No one has publicly taken responsibility for the vandalism.

A passerby sent the photos to Jordan Reichert, a local animal activist who runs the website Victoria Animal News and recently ran in the federal election for the Animal Alliance Environment Voters party.

He said there was no message included in the vandalism, but he suspects it could be motivated by recent news that Tilikum, the whale involved in the death of a trainer at Sealand 25 years ago, is in failing health at SeaWorld Orlando.

Reichert said the statue is a reminder of a grim time in the city’s history and he’d like to see it removed permanently.

“I think it’s a very disrespectful symbol considering the trauma it causes the animals that are taken from the wild and kept in captivity for many years,” he said. “There is a very deep history that goes along with it.”

Crews worked quickly to clean the paint off of the statue shortly after the vandalism was discovered.

Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen said the orca serves a symbol of man's duty to protect the marine mammals and their natural habitat.

"It is also a reminder of our connection with the Salish Sea and the First Nations people who lived in the area," he said in a statement. "There are no plans to remove it."

Tilikum was one of three orcas responsible for the death of trainer Keltie Byrne.

The animals submerged Byrne and dragged her around the pool after she accidentally slipped into a holding tank.

Sealand of the Pacific closed shortly afterwards and Tilikum was relocated to SeaWorld Orlando, where he was involved in another trainer’s death in 2010.

That death sparked the popular documentary “Blackfish,” which argued that orcas become a danger to humans and each other when kept in captivity.

Last week, news emerged that Tilikum is suffering from a hard-to-treat bacterial infection in his lungs that may eventually kill him.