Amazing Video Captures Whale Scaring Kids at the Aquarium. But Is it Playing?
Those kids deserved it.
Juno, a beluga whale, became an Internet sensation when the animal was caught on film “playing” with some children at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. Clearly they are interacting, but is it a game of peek-a-boo or an act of aggression aimed at the children?
Dr. Lori Marino, a beluga behavior specialist, told The Dodo that the whale’s behavior is “absolutely definitively aggression.” Dr. Marino went on to say, “This poor animal is telling the kids: ‘Get away’. It’s a threat.”
Mystic Aquarium’s chief marine biologist, Dr. Tracy Romano, had a different take on Juno’s behavior. She told CBS, “He's playing peek-a-boo. Boo! The kids getting his reaction is really what's spurring him on to keep doing it. This behavior was not trained in Juno ... Belugas as a species are very social and playful animals.”
Skip ahead to the [0:51] mark to get right to the action.