Biologist Indicted for Feeding Killer Whales

California researcher broke law with blubber, feds say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2012 1:57 AM CST
Marine Biologist Nancy Black Indicted for Feeding Killer Whales
Killer whales swim in Monterey Bay in this photo taken by Nancy Black.   (AP Photo/Courtesy Monterey Bay Whale Watch, Nancy Black)

A renowned marine biologist has landed in hot water for giving blubber to killer whales. Nancy Black, who runs whale-watching tours in California's Monterey Bay, has been indicted by a grand jury on charges that she violated a federal law banning feeding or otherwise interfering with marine mammals in the wild, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Her lawyer says all she did was attach a rope to a free-floating piece of blubber from a gray whale, killed earlier by orcas, in order to film killer whales eating.

"The federal government says that's like feeding the bears in Yosemite," her lawyer says. "You've got to be kidding me. We're not bringing in Twinkies and moving them into cars; this is what they are eating." The indictment, he adds, is "a classic example of the government taking a position that may not be right. I think the government wants to make an example of Nancy and try to draw a bright line and say even scientists can't do this. I think they're wrong." (More marine biology stories.)

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