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For we are all Killers, on land and on sea; Bonapartes and Sharks included...
May 20, 2008 4:25 PM   Subscribe

Operation Orca - Springer, Luna and the Struggle to Save West Coast Killer Whales (1) They Shoot Orcas, Don't They? (2) Era of the Orca Cowboys (3) How Not to Ship a Whale

Not many years ago, killer whales had a reputation that was even fiercer than their name. But in 1964 the Vancouver Aquarium obtained its first killer whale, Moby Doll, and for the first time the public got a personal look at one of these much-feared marine mammals. It was soon discovered that they were not the vicious man-eaters of legend. Attitudes began to change and today they are revered as loveable, intelligent creatures, iconic symbols of the marine environment.
posted by KokuRyu (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Gah. People suck.
posted by mullingitover at 5:53 PM on May 20, 2008


Harpooned
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:37 PM on May 20, 2008


Killer whales may soon be split into several species. It's weird how little we know about them, even though they are the most widely distributed predator in the world.
posted by afu at 6:43 PM on May 20, 2008


I have slides of my mother swimming with one of Ted Griffin's captured orcas (Shamu possibly?), and of the orca feeding, underwater. My mother and father belonged to a scuba diving club in the early days of the sport in the Northwest. They glued up their own wet suits, built the scuba tank rigs etc. It was all very low-tech and done on the cheap. Lots of corn starch sprayed into the suit to get it on, since there was no nylon lining on the material. My father built his own under-water camera enclosures; there were none to buy at the time.

So the dive club sent volunteers to help Griffin with the newly captured whales. The story I remember them telling was that it was necessary to 'walk' the whales around to keep them from drowning. So they took turns day and night until the whale got over the feeling of wanting to die, I guess. At the time it seemed like a very noble thing to me, helping the whales to live. And I was proud too, since there was still the aura of 'man killer' about those beasts. I do think their experiences might have helped to dispel that myth though.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 8:05 PM on May 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's a favorite of mine.
posted by humannaire at 6:09 PM on May 21, 2008


Killer whale vocalizations.
posted by humannaire at 6:16 PM on May 21, 2008


Killer whale sounds. [QT]
posted by humannaire at 6:18 PM on May 21, 2008


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