Letter: Name is Tokitae — don’t label her a ‘killer whale’


I was very heartened to read Patricia Guthrie’s article about the possibility of the orca whale Tokitae being released from her many years of captivity.

I was disturbed, however, by the article’s repeated reference to Tokitae as a “killer whale.” This is a scary and misleading label. As large mammals, orcas do feed on smaller mammals, but they are no more “killers” than other large mammals, like lions, tigers, wolves, eagles, etc.

We don’t call these animals “killer lions” or “killer tigers or “killer wolves.”

So let’s just call Tokitae and her kind “whales,” knowing that how they survive is by feeding on smaller living creatures as all carnivores do, including human beings.

We just might not want to go swimming with them.

Betsy MacGregor


Editor’s note: Killer whale is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as an acceptable term for orca.

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Langley must do more to become disabled friendly

Editor, I want to add my voice to those requesting more consideration… Continue reading

Letter: Will state ferries become service only for wealthy?

Editor, It’s easy for us average people to despair over the enormous… Continue reading

Letter: WhidbeyHealth, Careage provide exceptional care

Editor, I have had surgery at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center and my wife… Continue reading

Letter: Recent clear-cutting on Maxwelton ‘obscene’

Editor, The recent clear-cut abomination on Maxwelton Road near the elementary schools… Continue reading

Letter: Air travel is accelerating human destruction

Editor, My curiosity, followed by a few calculations, led me to a… Continue reading

Letter: Thank you to those who helped put out fire

Editor, On Sunday, July 28, we experienced a residential fire in which… Continue reading

Letter: Ebey’s National Historical Reserve isn’t necessary

Editor, I don’t expect a lot of public support for this, but… Continue reading

Letter: Experience at emergency room was very frustrating

Editor, My first experience in the WhidbeyHealth emergency room was in May… Continue reading

Letter: Offering up a suggestion for reducing anticipated noise

Editor, Fellow islanders, I may have the almost perfect solution for reducing… Continue reading

Most Read