Subject: Rehabilitation of Orca's

Cara M. Gubbins (
Thu, 23 Apr 1998 16:36:49 -0700 (PDT)

This is a good question. No orca has ever been returned to the wild. This
is part of the reason that Willy is attracting so much attention. Animals
that are released from captivity to the wild must learn at the minimum how
to hunt for food on their own. This includes how the animal handles food,
how to find it, and how to catch it. There are probably many other things
that the orca will have to learn on its own once back in the ocean, such
as how to interact socially with other orcas, and how to avoid dangers
such as boats. 
Good luck!

On Wed, 22 Apr 1998, Linda S. Murphy wrote:

> Wednesday, April 21, l998
> Dear Cara,
> 	My fifth grade class is doing research papers on topics of interest.  I
> have always loved whales, especially killer whales.
> 	My paper concerns the successful rehabilitation of Orca's back into the
> wild after captivity.  Like J.J. at Sea World.  Can you give me any
> information about the number of whales which have been rehabilitated and
> the success rate?  My question is "Can a captive Killer Whale be
> Successfully returned to the Ocean?"  
> 	Also, I want to know what type of "training" or learning must the whale
> have in order to be returned to the wild?
> 		Thank you for your help,
> 		Emma Celmins