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Commentaries and editorials

Orca Can Adapt

by Wes Wotring
Lewiston Tribune, December 6, 2018

California sea lions consuming salmon just below the Columbia River's Bonneville Dam. (U.S. Corps of Engineers photo) The orca is the apex predator of the oceans and are widely distributed around the world. They are also known as the "killer whale," although they are considered to be members of the dolphin family. They may develop a diet that is specialized, such as the salmon and steelhead feeders in Puget Sound. But when did this specialized diet start and why cannot they start eating other foods that their brethren do?

If their survival depends upon mankind to furnish them with salmon and steelhead when their natural prey of times past, such as seals, sea lions, whales and virtually anything they could get their teeth into in the oceans are common, why should man interfere with a natural progression of nature?

There are an abundant number of animals of the family pinnipedia again to be found in the waters of Puget Sound and Washington's waters. They are probably in numbers where they were before being hunted almost to extinction.

So let the orca resume its natural feeding habits and keep mankind from choosing what they eat. If they are so intelligent. then they should be able to change their diet and return to eating other prey that nature has designed them for.

That is survival.

To use the orca to justify breaching the dams is ludicrous. Even more stupid is feeding them our expensive salmon and steelhead, around $600 from taxes per returning anadromous fish, especially during times of scarcity due to dams, natural ocean currents and climate-related conditions.

Related Pages:
No, Orcas Can’t Be Taught to Eat Seal Lions and Not Salmon by Amy Eberling, Everett Herald, 12/14/18
Can't Orcas Be Taught to Switch from Salmon to Sea Lions? by Stan Walker, Everett Herald, 12/9/18

Wes Wotring, Clarkston
Orca Can Adapt
Lewiston Tribune, December 6, 2018

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