"Hoyt's passionate sense of kinship with orca makes his account effective as both a science and literature. He has chronicled his adventures and discoveries ...with grace, insight, wit--and a comprehensiveness that might satisfy even Herman Melville." (Discover Magazine) Star performers in aquariums and marine parks, killer whales were once considered to be too dangerous to approach in the wild. Erich Hoyt and his colleagues spent seven summers following these intelligent and playful creatures in the waters off northern Vancouver Island, intent on dispelling the killer myth. Orca: The Whale Called Killer is Hoyt's exciting account of those summers of adventure and discovery, and the definitive, classic work on the orca or killer whale. The Free Willy films, inspired in part by Hoyt's pioneering writing about orcas, tell the story of a captive orca being returned to the wild. (Hoyt, in fact, recommended Keiko, the orca who became the star of Free Willy, to Warner Bros.) But Orca: The Whale Called Killer tells the true story of wild orcas befriending humans.
The orca, also known as the killer whale, is one of the most intriguing and mysterious animals in the world. This lavishly illustrated portrait of this almost mythical sea mammal offers visions of the orca throughout the ages and across cultures, describing its hunting techniques and refined sonar and communication abilities. Full-color photographs capture whales breaching, playing, hunting, and caring for their young. The book also discusses the ethics of captivity and the environmental threats to whale populations. A foreword by internationally acclaimed scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki is included.
Author: David Neiwert
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Release Date: 2015-06-16
A celebrated journalist’s eye-opening history of orcas, and an exploration of their relationship with human beings--a must-read for anyone who's ever been moved by these remarkable creatures Orcas are one of earth’s most intelligent animals. Benign and gentle, with their own languages and cultures, orcas’ amazing capacity for long-term memory and, arguably, compassion, makes the ugly story of the captive-orca industry especially damning. In Of Orcas and Men, a marvelously compelling mix of cultural history, environmental reporting, and scientific research, David Neiwert explores how this extraordinary species has come to capture our imaginations—and the catastrophic environmental consequences of that appeal. In the tradition of Barry Lopez’s classic Of Wolves and Men, David Neiwert’s book is a powerful tribute to one of the animal kingdom’s most remarkable members.
In Listening to Whales, Alexandra Morton shares spellbinding stories about her career in whale and dolphin research and what she has learned from and about these magnificent mammals. In the late 1970s, while working at Marineland in California, Alexandra pioneered the recording of orca sounds by dropping a hydrophone into the tank of two killer whales. She recorded the varied language of mating, childbirth, and even grief after the birth of a stillborn calf. At the same time she made the startling observation that the whales were inventing wonderful synchronized movements, a behavior that was soon recognized as a defining characteristic of orca society. In 1984, Alexandra moved to a remote bay in British Columbia to continue her research with wild orcas. Her recordings of the whales have led her to a deeper understanding of the mystery of whale echolocation, the vocal communication that enables the mammals to find their way in the dark sea. A fascinating study of the profound communion between humans and whales, this book will open your eyes anew to the wonders of the natural world. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The fascinating and heartbreaking account of the first publicly exhibited captive killer whale — a story that forever changed the way we see orcas and sparked the movement to save them Killer whales had always been seen as bloodthirsty sea monsters. That all changed when a young killer whale was captured off the west coast of North America and displayed to the public in 1964. Moby Doll — as the whale became known — was an instant celebrity, drawing 20,000 visitors on the one and only day he was exhibited. He died within a few months, but his famous gentleness sparked a worldwide crusade that transformed how people understood and appreciated orcas. Because of Moby Doll, we stopped fearing “killers” and grew to love and respect “orcas.”
An account of Keiko the orca's life in captivity describes his capture as a two-year-old calf, difficulties in an unsuitable environment at a Mexico City amusement park, celebrity status after the Free Willy movies, and controversial rescue. 30,000 first printing.
Author: Michael Parfit
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2013-06-25
The heartbreaking and true story of a lonely orca named Luna who befriended humans in Nootka Sound, off the coast of Vancouver Island by Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm. One summer in Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, a young killer whale called Luna got separated from his pod. Like humans, orcas are highly social and depend on their families, but Luna found himself desperately alone. So he tried to make contact with people. He begged for attention at boats and docks. He looked soulfully into people's eyes. He wanted to have his tongue rubbed. When someone whistled at him, he squeaked and whistled back. People fell in love with him, but the government decided that being friendly with Luna was bad for him, and tried to keep him away from humans. Policemen arrested people for rubbing Luna's nose. Fines were levied. Undaunted, Luna refused to give up his search for connection and people went out to meet him, like smugglers carrying friendship through the dark. But does friendship work between species? People who loved Luna couldn't agree on how to help him. Conflict came to Nootka Sound. The government built a huge net. The First Nations' members brought out their canoes. Nothing went as planned, and the ensuing events caught everyone by surprise and challenged the very nature of that special and mysterious bond we humans call friendship. The Lost Whale celebrates the life of a smart, friendly, determined, transcendent being from the sea who appeared among us like a promise out of the blue: that the greatest secrets in life are still to be discovered.
Author: Ingrid Visser
Publisher: Penguin Global
Release Date: 2006-04
Meet the woman whose life revolves around orca, or killer whales. This book tells the fascinating story of Dr Ingrid Visser, a marine scientist who has spent the past ten years studying these creatures. During this time she has got to know many New Zealand orca intimately; she calls them her friends and can identify some by sight. Ingrid has a hands-on approach to her study - getting into the water with them, watching them hunt and interacting in any way she can. Ingrid is the only person to work with orca in the South Pacific and has discovered many differences between their behaviour here and in the northern hemisphere. The book is packed with interesting facts about orca in New Zealand and also tells Ingrid's own personal story and the inspiring encounters she has had with these intriguing animals.
Author: David Kirby
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2012-07-17
From the New York Times bestselling author of Evidence of Harm and Animal Factory—a groundbreaking scientific thriller that exposes the dark side of SeaWorld, America's most beloved marine mammal park Death at SeaWorld centers on the battle with the multimillion-dollar marine park industry over the controversial and even lethal ramifications of keeping killer whales in captivity. Following the story of marine biologist and animal advocate at the Humane Society of the US, Naomi Rose, Kirby tells the gripping story of the two-decade fight against PR-savvy SeaWorld, which came to a head with the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. Kirby puts that horrific animal-on-human attack in context. Brancheau's death was the most publicized among several brutal attacks that have occurred at Sea World and other marine mammal theme parks. Death at SeaWorld introduces real people taking part in this debate, from former trainers turned animal rights activists to the men and women that champion SeaWorld and the captivity of whales. In section two the orcas act out. And as the story progresses and orca attacks on trainers become increasingly violent, the warnings of Naomi Rose and other scientists fall on deaf ears, only to be realized with the death of Dawn Brancheau. Finally he covers the media backlash, the eyewitnesses who come forward to challenge SeaWorld's glossy image, and the groundbreaking OSHA case that challenges the very idea of keeping killer whales in captivity and may spell the end of having trainers in the water with the ocean's top predators.
Author: John K.B. Ford
Publisher: UBC Press
Release Date: 2011-11-01
This book focuses on transient killer whales. Enigmatic and elusive, these mammal-hunting whales are difficult animals to study. They travel in small groups, often moving unpredictably, which makes them less conspicuous than the larger resident pods. For these and other reasons, our understanding of the life history and ecology of transient killer whales has lagged behind that of residents. Transients contains the latest information on the natural history of transient killer whales, including their feeding habits, social lives, and distribution patterns. The catalogue section contains photographs of and notes on over 200 individual whales. Numerous sidebars contain interesting observations on encounters with transients as well as information on how and where to best watch them.
Science entwines with matters of the human heart as a whale researcher chronicles the lives of an endangered family of orcas Ever since Eva Saulitis began her whale research in Alaska in the 1980s, she has been drawn deeply into the lives of a single extended family of endangered orcas struggling to survive in Prince William Sound. Over the course of a decades-long career spent observing and studying these whales, and eventually coming to know them as individuals, she has, sadly, witnessed the devastation wrought by the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989—after which not a single calf has been born to the group. With the intellectual rigor of a scientist and the heart of a poet, Saulitis gives voice to these vital yet vanishing survivors and the place they are so loyal to. Both an elegy for one orca family and a celebration of the entire species, Into Great Silence is a moving portrait of the interconnectedness of humans with animals and place—and of the responsibility we have to protect them.
Author: John Hargrove
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2015-03-24
*Now a New York Times Best Seller* Over the course of two decades, John Hargrove worked with 20 different whales on two continents and at two of SeaWorld's U.S. facilities. For Hargrove, becoming an orca trainer fulfilled a childhood dream. However, as his experience with the whales deepened, Hargrove came to doubt that their needs could ever be met in captivity. When two fellow trainers were killed by orcas in marine parks, Hargrove decided that SeaWorld's wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and ultimately unsafe for trainers. After leaving SeaWorld, Hargrove became one of the stars of the controversial documentary Blackfish. The outcry over the treatment of SeaWorld's orca has now expanded beyond the outlines sketched by the award-winning documentary, with Hargrove contributing his expertise to an advocacy movement that is convincing both federal and state governments to act. In Beneath the Surface, Hargrove paints a compelling portrait of these highly intelligent and social creatures, including his favorite whales Takara and her mother Kasatka, two of the most dominant orcas in SeaWorld. And he includes vibrant descriptions of the lives of orcas in the wild, contrasting their freedom in the ocean with their lives in SeaWorld. Hargrove's journey is one that humanity has just begun to take-toward the realization that the relationship between the human and animal worlds must be radically rethought.
Author: Dr Astrid M. Van Ginneken
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
Release Date: 2007-02-28
Think of orcas, and you may instantly imagine the killer whales prowling the high seas in search of prey. Yet, these predators are much more than ruthless killers, and are in fact, complex creatures that feel and love within the groups they live. In pitch-perfect prose, orca expert Dr. Astrid M. van Ginneken puts the reader into the orca's mind as she tells the story of the young killer whale Tuschka. Born in the wild, Tuschka learns the ways of her pod of fellow creatures and experiences the never-ending search for food, the joy of play, and the sadness of loss. But then Tuschka is mercilessly taken from her home waters and transferred to a marine park, where her only solace is a trust in her human trainers. Will she ever again join her family in the wild? Fascinating and heartfelt, this is a novel that is an astonishing account of the bonds between whales, and the relationship of man and orca.
Author: Tim Zimmermann
Publisher: New Word City
Release Date: 2016-09-03
On February 24, 2010, Tilikum, the largest killer whale at SeaWorld, suddenly dragged Dawn Brancheau, his trainer, into the pool and killed her. Journalist Tim Zimmermann set out to find out why. His riveting account of Tilikum's life, and the history of killer whale entertainment at marine parks, dives into the world of the ocean's top predator. It chronicles Tilikum's capture and separation from his family, and the physical and psychological stress he experienced in marine park pools over some 30 years. It explores Tilikum's involvement in two previous deaths. And it details the inherent risks of using captive killer whales for human entertainment. Ultimately, Zimmermann explains how the life of Tilikum came to mean the death of Dawn Brancheau.