Marine mammal used in research back in limelight - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Marine mammal used in research back in limelight

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)

By CALEB JONES
Associated Press

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.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly