Operation Orca: Springer, Luna and the Struggle to Save West Coast Killer Whales by Daniel FrancisOperation Orca: Springer, Luna and the Struggle to Save West Coast Killer Whales by Daniel Francis

Operation Orca: Springer, Luna and the Struggle to Save West Coast Killer Whales

byDaniel Francis, Gill Hewlett

Hardcover | October 25, 2007

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Winner of Foreword Magazine's Best Nature Non-Fiction Award.

In 1964 when the Vancouver Aquarium obtained its first killer whale, Moby Doll, the prevalent attitudes towards killer whales was that they were fierce and vicious man-eaters. Over the years, attitudes have begun to change, and orcas are now revered as loveable, intelligent creatures and iconic symbols of the marine environment.

In January 2002, a young killer whale was discovered alone in the waters of Puget Sound near Seattle. Determining that the whale would not survive alone so far from home, a team of scientists captured "Springer" and transported her by boat north to her home range where she rejoined her family.

At the same time Springer was making her historic journey, another lone whale turned up in Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The people of Nootka Sound adopted "Luna" as their own, but he was a large, boisterous youngster who liked to cuddle boats and the government feared he would get into trouble. Another rescue was planned to return Luna to his family but this time there was no happy ending.

In Operation Orca, winner of the 2008 Foreword Magazine Nature Book of the Year award, author Daniel Francis and long-time Vancouver Aquarium staff member Gil Hewlett give breadth to the complications, contradictions, and political posturing that twice engulfed the debate of whether to interfere or let nature take its course. Through the amazing story of these two "orphan" whales, Operation Orca tells the larger story of orcas in the Pacific Northwest, the people who have studied them and the transformation of the whale's image from killer to icon.
Daniel Francis is a historian and author of over twenty books, including Far West: The Story of British Columbia (Harbour, 2006), Trucking in British Columbia: An Illustrated History (Harbour, 2012), and most recently, Closing Time: Prohibition, Rum-Runners, and Border Wars (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014). He also edited the Encyclopedia of...
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Title:Operation Orca: Springer, Luna and the Struggle to Save West Coast Killer WhalesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:October 25, 2007Publisher:HARBOUR PUBLISHINGLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1550174266

ISBN - 13:9781550174267

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Customer Reviews of Operation Orca: Springer, Luna and the Struggle to Save West Coast Killer Whales

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intensely personal visit with West Coast killer whales Two orphaned orcas made a big splash in the news in the early 2000s. In autumn 2001, reports filtered in about a young killer whale swimming alone in the waters of Puget Sound near Seattle. In a world first, a team of scientists led by the Vancouver Aquarium captured “Springer” and transported her by boat north to her home range, where she successfully rejoined her family. Around the same time (July, 2001), another lone whale turned up in Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, where the people adopted “Luna” as their own. But he was a large, boisterous youngster who liked to cuddle boats and nuzzle people, becoming a star attraction during his frequent visits to the Gold River dock. The DFO adopted a hands-off, wait-and-see approach. But managing people became more of a problem than managing the whale. Luna spent four summers entertaining throngs of sightseers who traveled to Nootka Sound from around the world. Always ready to play, his interactions with people increased, but each encounter carried the potential for catastrophe. So another rescue was planned to return Luna to his family, but this time there was no happy ending. Desperately in need of social contact, he continued to frolic with boats and float planes. On March 10, 2006, Luna was killed when he became entangled in the propeller blades of a large tugboat near Mooyah Bay. Luna and Springer became the focus of an unprecedented scientific adventure, ending in rescue for one and tragedy for the other. Now, hot off the press, “Operation Orca” (Harbour Publishing) captures the high drama of these two historic rescues and the intense debate surrounding them. Just in time for a cozy read by the fireside, award-winning author Daniel Francis and former Vancouver Aquarium staff member Gil Hewlett tell the larger story of Pacific Northwest orcas, and the transformation of the whale’s image from killer to icon. Not many years ago, with a reputation even fiercer than their name, killer whales were considered vicious man-eaters. A commercial whaling station even existed at Coal Harbour from 1947 to 1967. 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. Over the past 40 years, we’ve discovered that they were not the vicious beasts of legend. Today they are revered as loveable, intelligent creatures, iconic symbols of the marine environment. To date, no recorded case of a killer whale attacking and killing a human in the wild exists. Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) are the largest of the dolphin family of marine mammals. The Pacific Northwest is one of the few locations where they are found in protected waters and can easily be studied. Operation Orca presents a wonderful opportunity to learn more about killer whales and mankind’s attempts to intervene. In the main, it’s about people reaching out to save a life in a grand humanitarian gesture.
Date published: 2007-11-22