So when I saw the trainer leaning on the entrance to the stadium, silver whistle and orca-patterned wetsuit in all, I felt relieved. If I am going to get reliable information about these orcas from anyone, I am going to get it from someone who works side by side with them every day, I thought.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
"Excuse me," I said. "Do you know how long orcas live in the ocean?"
The girl's eyes clouded over as her smile, as bright and forced as the noontime sun, vanished. She tilted her head away from my gaze and placed her hands on her hips. After mulling over her response, she answered me as though she were the one asking.
"Oh, I don't know. Maybe ten, twenty years or so?"
Her smile revived.
"Yeah, as long as our whales live right here in Orlando!"
The trainer's "I don't know" was enough to tell me that she was lying. I hoped for at least one of two things: that she knew the answer to my second question, and that she still somehow told me the truth.
"Why does the largest whale have floppy fins?"