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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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