"I literally burst out laughing up in the bleachers ... after they said killer whales vocalize with their blowholes," Dr. Naomi Rose, Ph.D., an orca expert and marine biologist who works with the Animal Welfare Institute, told The Dodo about a recent trip to see the revamped show. "It was so bad. It's so wrong."
Rose said that not only does the show not endorse conservation, but it also gets some facts about orcas completely incorrect. "It's like they just took all this really cool information ... and just threw it in the trash," she said.
For one, as noted above, Rose heard the trainers tell the audience that orcas communicate through their blowholes, and then had Lolita demonstrate. Rose said that, while she's heard wild orcas make snort-like noises through their blowholes, it's far from a communication method.
"It's not a vocalization," she said of the blowhole noises. "It's like burping ... it is not something that you would actually consider a communication sound."