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The Tale of Two Whales

The story of Springer and Luna

 

The Saga of Springer  

Springer, also known as A73, became a media darling in Canada and the US after she was orphaned and became lost from her pod at one year of age, and months later was rescued, restored to health, transported back to the summer haunts of her pod and released.  She is in good health and fully integrated with other whales now, and is a poster child for both the resiliency of her species and power of people working together for a good cause. 

Click here for more photographs and a brief timeline of her story.


Photo: John Ford

 

Luna, Lost Whale of Nootka Sound 

Luna, known to scientists as L98, became separated from his mother and family at one and half years of age, and spent the next 5 years living alone in isolated Nootka Sound.  His attempts to befriend boaters caught the attention of locals, and he became the focus of an intense, multi-year debate about whether he should be captured and returned to his pod.  A belated decision to capture and move him was abandoned in the face of strong opposition by members of the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nations, who felt he was the reincarnation of Chief Ambrose Maquinna.   Luna remained in Nootka Sound and continued to be strongly attracted to boats, despite efforts to keep him away from them.  He was eventually struck and killed by a tugboat. 

Click here for more photographs and a brief timeline of Luna’s story. 


Photo: Lance Barrett-Lennard

If you are interested in more details on both Springer and Luna’s life, the book 'Operation Orca' by Gil Hewlett and Daniel Francis, (Harbour Publishing 2007) is a must read. As well, the film Saving Luna contains some wonderful footage of Luna in Nootka Sound.