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.”
Mark Leiren-Young is an award-winning journalist, screenwriter, playwright, and author. He received the Leacock medal for his memoir Never Shoot a Stampede Queen, and the El Prat de Llobregat Award for his film The Green Chain. He lives in Vancouver.
"(Leiren-Young) skillfully weaves whaling history and information about the growth of scientific knowledge of the whale life cycle and social behavior into this account ...This well-written book will appeal to general readers interested in the topIc"?Library Journal
"Detailed, edifying, and amazing."
?Philip Hoare, author of The Whale and The Sea Inside
"Leiren-Young's mesmerizing story of Moby Doll chronicles a key turning point in our understanding of orcas on Canada's west coast and details how we now see this species as the highly intelligent and evolved species that it is. Amazing."
?Scott Renyard, director of Who Killed Miracle? and The Pristine Coast
"Outstanding and inspirational. Similar to the award-winning Blackfish, this book could be a game changer."
?Marc Bekoff, author of Rewilding Our Hearts
"It is heart-wrenching to read through all of the misconceptions people had about whales only 50 years ago, and tougher still to realize that orcas and other whales still face significant challenges to their long-term survival."?Bellingham Herald
"The story of Moby Doll is one of those turning point tales that shows how far we've come in our relationship with animals and the sea. Bravo to Mark Leiren-Young."?Erich Hoyt, author of Orca: The Whale Called Killer
"An utterly fascinating read?full of revealing detail, rich with insight, and in the end, a profoundly moving work that illuminates the history of the fast-evolving changes in our relationship with one of the planet's most intelligent and intriguing creatures."
?David Neiwert, author of Of Orcas and Men
"The Killer Whale Who Changed the World is a must read by all who care about nature, species conservation, and animal welfare, and an eloquent example of excellent science journalism."—Canadian Science Writers & Communicators Award Jury