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How do you train a 3 ton Orca?

Above Corky the killer whale or orca does a slideout at Sea World of California. Like all of the orcas at Sea World she takes her turn playing the role of "Shamu" in the Shamu Adventure Show. The original Shamu died many years ago but the name is still used as a stage name today. Many people feel that captivity is wrong or cruel to the animals. Some even believe they are abused to they perform the behaviors as there called that they see in the shows but the animals are in no way abused or mistreated. This page will give you information how animals as large and powerful as dolphins are trained in captivity and how they are taken care. But before I reading about the training of dolphins and orcas. I would like to share with you my views on captivity. This is just my opinion of dolphin captivity. I hope you take the time to read.

The above photo shows Kilroy a long deceased captive orca of Sea World in San Diego, California giving his training a ride. Kilroy was one of many orcas in the 60's taken from the wild to perform in marine parks around the world. Taken from his family known as K Pod in his home waters off the coast of Washington in the year of 1967 he survivored 11 and a half years in captivity. A dolphin or orca capture can be a violent process. Young dolphins were taken from their mothers who they would have spent their whole lives with. Orcas and dolphins are the most sociable mammals in the animal kingdom. They were taken when they were young because being smaller they were easier to transport and being young they were at the learning stage making training easier. Many died during the capture or transport. The capture of orcas in US waters is illegal but it still takes place in other countries like Russia and Japan. Smaller dolphins can still be captured but not without a permit and tons of paper work which can take months or even up to a year to be processed. While I do enjoy visiting marine parks like Sea World and often visit the dolphins at the National Aquarium in Baltimore I would not support anymore dolphins or orcas being taken from the wild today. Before Namu and Shamu people feared the killer whale also known as orcas. Fishermen shot at them on site and the US Navy even used them as target practice shooting at them from their helicopters. Because of having those animals in captivity people and scientists learned more about them. They learned there not really killers at all but friendly, loving and gentle creatures that were highly intelligent and was capable of learning very quickly. The more that was learned about them the more people wanted to protect them in the wild, from capture and captivity. Now today many animal rights activists argue that captivity is cruel and punishment to the animals. Here is my opinion and what I think about captivity:


Some people think the behavior of having the orcas slide up on deck to show visitors their size out of the water at Sea World is cruel. What they didn't know was that beaching themselves or "sliding" out of the water is a natural behavior for orcas. In the wild they beach themselves in order to grab sea lions off the beach or slide out onto ice to grabs seals hiding on ice flows.


Above orca Splash does a slide out at Sea World California.

2002