Saturday, May 12, 2012

Moby--Marineland of Florida 1950's

Written on the back of postcard:  "Stretching his entire 16 feet, Moby the "educated" Pilot whale pushes his 1600 pounds sky-ward to strike a beach ball and delight audiences six times daily at Marineland of Florida. Marineland is located on A1A, 18 miles south of St. Augustine."


Greg May said...

Marineland of Florida began showing pilot whales in the stadium show in 1960 when their sister oceanarium - Marineland of the Pacific - flew them two young males, 'Moby' and 'Toby' as repayment for the four bottlenose dolphins Florida flew out to them in 1954 just before opening day. 'Kay' arrived in 1965 to replace 'Toby' who died in 1963. Marineland always tried to keep two pilot whales in their stadium show so they could alternate them during the shows.

Wade G. Burck said...

"tried to keep two pilot whales in their stadium show so they could alternate them" is the down side to operant conditioning. While it is a great system advocate's of it try to make it more confusing and mysterious then it actually is. In regards to "keeping two" they are so busy feeding folks kool-aid like, "it is just like giving your child a piece of candy for making his bed", they neglect when espousing the wonder's of operant conditioning to tell folks what to do if the "child doesn't want the candy." I guess "keeping two" is the answer. One of them surely want's the candy, and that way you are assured the bed is made each day.
At Marineland the sea mammals were required to do 6 show's a day. That's why they sometimes had "refusals" or Nootka would do one of her things as the long summer wore on. They had two set's of "trainers/presenters. One group did the morning/afternoon show's and one did the smaller evening shows We had two set's of land mammals, because we can't alternate trainers/handlers for animal trained to respond to "us" and nobody else. I did the first three show's, and the smaller act did the three smaller evening show's. No way could we have "forced" the tigers and elephants to work 6 show's. Contrary to popular belief you can not beat, cajole, hassle or subjugate an animal into doing anything that it does not want to, and that is what we would have been doing by the second week of 6 show's a day, 7 day's a week.
The bears, presented by my oldest son's father in law, James C. Hall were the exception given the "nature of the beast" and they did 6 a day, 7 day's a week like the sea mammals. Because they were trained to work on leashes, in addition to the candy corn and jelly beans used as a "bridge", James C. Hall could, like with a dog on a leash say, "I know it is hot, and you don't want to do this, and you don't want the cookie, but(pressure on the leash) come here anyway." That "contol" which is non existent in operant conditioning is what will always make it a "flawed" system, and only useful for getting an animal that you can not touch, or have physical control of, to do what you want, some of the time.