Training killer whales

From: Phil Clapham (
Date: Tue Sep 03 2002 - 13:21:55 EDT

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    This is a tough issue. Depending on your viewpoint, killer whales in
    captivity are either a valuable educational tool to teach people about
    marine life, or an animal being unfairly exploited to make money for

    Killer whales are trained for public display in aquaria, presumably
    because this is what a lot of people like to see. Some people believe
    they can be used to get people interested in marine life and
    conservation; others think that getting an animal like this to do
    "tricks" teaches people (especially kids) the wrong thing about

    Personally, I don't like seeing killer whales in captivity. They are
    very large, very social animals that range over thousands of miles in
    the wild, and they don't belong in tiny tanks with no company and little
    to keep them interested. But some people feel differently.

    Phil Clapham

    Angie Hayes wrote:
    > Dear Mr. Clapham,
    > I am doing research on killer whales. I am a 6th grader at Shimek Elementary in Iowa City,IA. I have some questions on the training of killer whales:
    > * Why do people want to train whales?
    > * Do they want to make money?
    > * What are the pros and cons of training?
    > * Do you think training is a good idea?
    > Thank you for any information.
    > Mary Rinderspacher


    Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D. Large Whale Biology Program Northeast Fisheries Science Center 166 Water Street Woods Hole, MA 02543, U.S.A.

    tel. 508 495-2316 fax 508 495-2066 email:

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