Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Killer whale plays with dog on fishing boat - reaction

A new/old video is making the rounds. It features a dog barking at a young killer whale (Orcinus orca) in Alaska.

What stuck me was the reaction this video is having on people across the web. For the most part folks are satisfied to believe this orca is "playing with" the dog, a curiosity based on some form of communication, or in some extreme postings a mutual cross species love.

Few who have seen this video it seems have considered this animal might in fact be looking at the dog as a potential meal. The vast comment base have concluded this is anything but a predatory investigation.

My view is more balanced. Animals, especially whales, are capable of a vast array of complex behaviours. Humans, on the other hand consistently "box in" different species to fit into emotional categories.

Whales are good, sharks are bad, and the emotional baggage each animal is assigned will determine our global conservation responses to them.

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