He weighs 52000 Kilos and he’s 19 metres long and thousands of kids will be shouting “We want Spunk!” when the UK’s first captive sperm whale appears at Southport’s Sea Fun centre. Many don’t feel comfortable with captive aquatic mammals appearing at coastal resorts. Some say the journeys are too long and the ticket prices too high, but nobody can deny the appeal of such huge animals, and trainers are already practising their rallying cry of “Shall we get Spunky?” in advance of the first shows, building on the excitement that is set to come to a head next month.
There have also been a handful of complaints about the name Sea Fun has given to the friendly monster of the deep. “The correct name for the species is “Physeter macrocephalus” so I was in favour of “Fizz” for educational reasons,” said Sea Fun’s marine biologist, Mary Snape. “But I guess Spunky has just stuck.”