Only on AP: Marine mammal used in research back in limelight
WAIMANALO, Hawaii (AP) — A marine mammal that has contributed to groundbreaking science for the past 30 years is again making waves after being sold to a marine amusement park in Hawaii.
Kina is a false killer whale, a large member of the dolphin family. Animal-rights activists say she deserves a peaceful retirement in an ocean-based refuge but is instead being traumatized by confinement in concrete tanks at Sea Life Park.
But Kina’s former Navy trainer and a longtime marine mammal researcher say no such sea sanctuaries exist, and the park is the best place for the 40-year-old toothy cetacean.
Kina lives with two of her longtime dolphin companions in a pool that is larger than the pen she occupied as a research animal in Oahu’s Kaneohe Bay. Park officials say she’ll be moved to an even larger pool with more animals later this year, and will continue to contribute to science.