Nugget of Knowledge: Training killer whales

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Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV) — How do Sea World trainers get killer whales to jump right out of the water and flop down on a platform?

What fish wants to leave the water to explore dry land? When in nature would killer whales deliberately beach themselves and still survive?

Whales that are beached in the wild usually end up dying, but there is an exception and the killer whale is one of them.

Killer whales aren’t really whales, they’re a member of the dolphin family, known as orcas.

These black and white dolphins do live up to their “killer” name. They’ll ram their bodies into floating ice to knock seals and penguins off balance and into the water to become lunch.

They love fresh meat and in their never ending search for it, orcas do sometimes beach themselves naturally. It’s their favorite maneuvers wherever seals are breeding.

The giant killer whale will suddenly leap from the water and belly-flops into a bunch of seals, grabbing a few in its mouth. Then, it uses its powerful fins to slide back into the waters.

This is a perfectly normal, natural behavior and if it’s natural, a trainer can use it to coax an orca from the water for food.

It isn’t that hard to train animals and even killer whales.

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