Whales are mammals just like us. They give birth to live
babies which they nurse. Even though they live in the water, they need to breathe
air. The blowholes on their backs are like our nostrils. Whales use their
flippers for more than just swimming. One mother whale was seen slapping her baby
with her flipper to teach him to stay away from a ship. Baby whales are called
calves. Whale calves aunts often babysit for them when they mothers have to so
Many kinds of whales are following the dinosaurs into the
pages of history. They are becoming extinct because people have been killing them
and selling their body parts for money. Whale meat is considered a
"delicacy" in Japan and some other countries. The oil from their bodies
has been used to make lipstick, shoe polish, margarine and transmission oil for cars.
People kill whales with tusks for the same reason they kill elephants for theirs
to get their ivory to sell for money.
It is now against the law to kill whales for food anywhere in
the world, but Japan and Norway are getting around this law by claiming that they are
killing whales to study them. The whales meat is sold in stores. People
in other places have also been caught killing whales even though its illegal.
Dont ever buy anything made of ivory.
Check lipstick, margarine and shoe polish for ingredients like
"fish oil" or "marine oil" which can come from whales and other sea
balloon launches at school fairs or other events. Balloons often drift into the
ocean where whales and other sea animals mistake them for food and eat them. The
balloons get stuck in the animals insides and can kill them. Fourth graders in
Connecticut learned about this and got their legislators to pass a bill that makes balloon
launches illegal in Connecticut!!
Avoid going to aquariums and theme parks that keep whales and
other sea animals.
Get your class to join you in writing letters to the Japanese
Embassy, 2520 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington D.C. 20008 to ask that Japan leave
For more information on whales, you can write to The Cousteau Society, 870 Greenbriar Circle,
Suite 402, Chesapeake, VA 23320 and the Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society, P. O. Box 628, Venice, CA 90294.