During our latest “Today I Learned” with Lisa Corrao we chatted with Joe Sanchez, a trainer at SeaWorld Orlando. He took us behind-the-scenes with some of the park’s killer whales, and we learned some interesting facts – like they actually aren’t whales; they have excellent eye sight; and they weigh a ton!

They are not whales.
Despite being called killer whales, these amazing animals are not whales at all. The mammals (and yes, they are mammals) are actually the largest member of the dolphin family. 

They have excellent eye sight.
Killer whales have excellent eye sight both above and below the water. Their eyes are located right in front of the white eye patch. You’ll see during the interview how easily they were responding to Lisa while under the water.

They can hold their breath for a long time.
Since we now know that killer whales are mammals, we know they need air to breath. But they don’t need it as often as we do. Killer whales can hold their breath for 8-10 minutes and sometimes longer while under water.

They weigh a ton.
It’s not surprising to find out that killer whales weigh a ton but can you guess just how much they weigh? It might shock you to learn that one of the full grown female killer whales Lisa was introduced to weighs a whopping 6,000 pounds! A full grown male killer whale will weigh even MORE.

They undergo behavior modification.
All of the animal training at SeaWorld Orlando is based off positive re-enforcement. When the whales do something the trainers like or want to see more of they make sure to bring a lot of attention to what they just did. A lot of times this means the killer whale gets fish, toys and rub downs.

To see the killer whales in action look for discounted SeaWorld Orlando tickets here on Best of Orlando.

Killer Whales jumping at Shamu Stadium inside SeaWorld Orlando 

Orlando, FL – 8/4/17

By: Jena Pugh