Many killer whales in captivity suffer from serious dental problems – mainly in animals broken and cracked teeth, as well as fallen or torn out. Often damaged teeth require drilling, after which a hollow cone remains. One of the main reasons is stress and boredom. The steel gates separating the pools of the aquarium are made of horizontal bars. These gates serve as the first line of defense when whales “behave poorly,” become aggressive and it is necessary to physically separate animals.
It is often observed that two separated whales gnaw the bars of the grid. As a result, the tooth tissue is damaged. If not treated, the rotting tooth can turn into a large hollow, where food is slaughtered. This provokes inflammation, the occurrence of infection, becoming a threat to the immune and cardiovascular systems of the body. Many killer whales were trained to withstand this hellish procedure – with the help of tricks and incentives. First, the animal is required to put the chin on the edge of the pool. Then the trainers show the animal a high-speed drill – like the one used for repair work on the house. In this case, the animal is scratched behind the fins or fed with fish. Then they touch the teeth with a drill – not including it, again stroking and feeding. After the drill is turned on at low speeds, and then on full ones – until blood sprays from the drilled hole.