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list price: $34.95
edition:Hardcover
category: Nature
published: Oct 2007
ISBN:9781550174267

Operation Orca

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

by Daniel Francis & Gill Hewlett

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marine life, animal rights
5 of 5
2 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $34.95
edition:Hardcover
category: Nature
published: Oct 2007
ISBN:9781550174267
Description

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.

About the Authors

Daniel Francis is an historian and the author/editor of more than twenty books, including five for Arsenal Pulp Press: The Imaginary Indian: The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture , National Dreams: Myth, Memory and Canadian History, LD: Mayor Louis Taylor and the Rise of Vancouver (winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award), Seeing Reds: The Red Scare of 1918-1919, Canada's First War on Terror and Imagining Ourselves: Classics of Canadian Non-Fiction. His other books include A Road for Canada, Red Light Neon: A History of Vancouver's Sex Trade, Copying People: Photographing British Columbia First Nations 1860-1940, The Great Chase: A History of World Whaling, New Beginnings: A Social History of Canada, and the popular Encyclopedia of British Columbia. He is also on the board of Geist magazine, and was awarded Canada's History Pierre Berton Award in 2017. Daniel lives in North Vancouver, BC.

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Gil Hewlett joined the Vancouver Aquarium as the resident biologist in 1964. He has helped train many of the Aquarium's whales, including Skana and Hyak. Hewlett retired from the position of Assistant Director of Special Projects in March 2006.
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Awards
  • Winner, Foreword Magazine Nature Book of the Year

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

Operation Orca examines two recent attempts to save two young killer whales in distress: Springer in Puget Sound, who was ultimately reunited with her family, and Luna in Nootka Sound, who ultimately perished after getting too close to a boat engine. Throughout the fast-paced discussion of the rescues, the authors also describe the research into killer whale family life that allowed scientists to even attempt these rescues. Historical interactions with orcas are also discussed.

Francis is the author of numerous books including Far West: the Story of British Columbia. He was editor of the Encyclopedia of British Columbia. Hewlett worked at the Vancouver Aquarium for 42 years and worked with many of their orcas.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2008-2009.

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Voices and Visions: A Story of Canada

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A Road for Canada

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