December 12, 2013 |
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite's riveting documentary "Blackfish" tells the story of Tilikum, an aggressive bull orca who has lived the last 30 years in captivity. The film's central debate circles around what exactly caused the whale's behavior linking him to the deaths of three people over the years - natural aggression or the trauma and boredom of captivity? With the death of SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010, Cowperthwaite felt compelled to investigate. Through interviews with experts and former SeaWorld trainers, and footage of the animals in the wild and in captivity, the filmmaker puts forth a compelling case for leaving orcas in the wild.
April 2, 2006 |
Back in December, we wrote about Luna, a sociable young orca that had adopted the waters off this remote inlet town as its home almost five years ago. A dolphin-sized 2-year-old when he showed up alone in Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the orca would often rub up against boats, spray people beside the dock and allow residents to pet him and rub his tongue.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 1996 |
When skipper Todd Mansur got the call on his marine radio, he was 13 miles from a sighting of killer whales. "They were six miles off Cottons near San Mateo Point in San Clemente," Mansur, a skipper out of Dana Point Wharf, said. "We were looking for gray whales but it was the last trip of the day so we went for them." Instead of finding a small pod of four or six killer whales, Mansur said he was surprised to see 40 to 60 spread across a two-mile area.
January 1, 1999 |
The sea lion found itself in some pretty scary company: alongside a small pod of killer whales, including two spry females that wanted to play. Or such was the observation of Eric Martin, a researcher from El Segundo who witnessed the encounter two weeks ago while aboard his 18-foot boat, Okum, near the west end of Santa Catalina Island. "They were looking to harass something," recalled Martin, 37, founder and president of the Marine Mammal Study Center, a small South Bay educational facility.
March 11, 1995 |
One of the entertainment world's biggest stars did two sellout shows here Friday, completely oblivious to a whale of a cross-continent controversy involving her employer, allegations of sex harassment by the governor of Washington, as well as a complex question of animal rights. The star: Lolita, a six-ton killer whale who for 25 years has both awed and soaked visitors to Miami's Seaquarium with her splashy leaps.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2010 |
It seemed as if it would be a happy ending for the gray whale of Dana Point. Rescuers, after all, had just succeeded in cutting the whale free from a tangle of netting in the shallow waters of Dana Point Harbor. They watched as it took off into the Pacific, seemingly full of renewed vigor. The creature's fortunes reversed Thursday, however, after the whale dubbed "Lilly" reappeared close to shore, leading marine scientists to worry that it isn't healthy or strong enough to survive.
June 9, 1996 |
Lolling on his side, he's treated to a back scratch. The day's session gets off to a slow start, but he finally jumps through all the hoops. "Good boy!" his trainer says, running both hands over his pupil. Keiko, the 8,000-pound orca, veteran marine park performer and star of "Free Willy" lifts his fin to give his trainer a better angle. His eyes fall shut. It has been five months since this lap dog of a leviathan was delivered to the Oregon Coast Aquarium amid much fanfare.
January 2, 2005 |
For a good time, follow the whales. The big boys of Planet Ocean vacation in some of the world's finest locations: the warm lagoons and bays of Hawaii and Mexico in winter, the clear waters of Canada and Alaska in summer. In some ways, they're like the seriously wealthy, tracking the sun to the world's playgrounds. The phenomenon hasn't escaped the travel industry, which thrives when the humpback, gray and blue whales come to town.
February 22, 2004 |
Nearly 700 people turned out to bid farewell to Keiko, the killer whale who starred in the popular "Free Willy" movies and died of pneumonia last December in Norway. The crowd gathered at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, where Keiko lived from 1996 to 1998. Officials at the aquarium organized the event in response to hundreds of e-mails, letters and phone calls from Keiko's fans who sought closure.