September 30, 2011 |
The title of the documentary "The Whale" might at first glance seem generic or uninspired, but it's really a nod of awed respect to an extraordinary individual: the orphaned orca that captivated the residents of Vancouver Island for five years beginning in 2001. Thoughtful and moving, if often heavy-handed, "The Whale" follows the remarkable story of Luna and will appeal to animal lovers of all ages, although it doesn't sugarcoat some difficult events. Expanding on their 2008 documentary "Saving Luna," British Columbia-based directors Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit have added footage and receive a profile-heightening boost from executive producers Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson.
August 16, 2011 |
It's been a good summer for orca sightings among kayakers in British Columbia's Johnstone Strait, and at least one outfitter is offering discounts on its last trip of the season. The Johnstone Strait, home to the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Orca Preserve, draws many kayak-trip outfitters, including Sea Kayak Adventures , which is based in Idaho but has been running Johnstone Strait trips since 1996. This year, said S.K.A. co-owner Nancy Mertz, “they had a late spring, and it suddenly blossomed into sunshine and orcas.
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.
April 22, 2010 |
Killer whales may all look alike, but molecular biology indicates there are at least three distinct species of orca and maybe five or more, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Genome Research. Although all such whales are currently included in a single species, Orcinus orca , biologists had speculated that there were actually more than one, based on behavior, feeding habits and subtle differences in shape and markings. Some killer whales, for example, feed exclusively on seals, and others prefer fish.
April 11, 2010 |
WASHINGTON Island B&B Pebble Cove Farm is a charming B&B. My sister and I stayed in one of the studios (very reasonable). The massive lawn slopes down to the water and they have a rowboat you can take out into the little bay. Pebble Cove Farm, 3341 Deer Harbor Road, Orcas Island, (360) 376-6161, pebblecovefarm.com. From $125. -- Debbie Fawcett, Seal Beach
March 22, 2010 |
Three times a day, SeaWorld Orlando's killer whale trainers brush Tilikum's teeth, just as they always have. But they no longer stand right next to him with a water pick. Instead, they use a 2-foot extension so they can work farther from the 6-ton orca's jaws. The jury-rigged toothbrush is one of the many adjustments SeaWorld has made in the weeks since Tilikum grabbed veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau by her ponytail and drowned her in front of park guests. After the Feb. 24 tragedy, SeaWorld removed Tilikum from daily shows and ordered trainers to keep their distance from the animal, who is twice as big as any other orca at the park.
March 17, 2010 |
Neuroscientist Lori Marino and a team of researchers explored the brain of a dead killer whale with an MRI and found an astounding potential for intelligence. Killer whales, or orcas, have the second-biggest brains among ocean mammals, weighing as much as 15 pounds. It's not clear whether orcas are as well-endowed with memory cells as humans, but scientists have found they are amazingly well-wired for sensing and analyzing their watery environment. Scientists are trying to better understand how killer whales learn local dialects, teach one another specialized methods of hunting and pass on behaviors that can persist for generations -- longer, possibly, than in any other species except humans.
February 28, 2010 |
Hundreds of patrons packed into Shamu Stadium on Saturday for the return of SeaWorld Orlando's "Believe" show, three days after a killer whale dragged a veteran animal trainer underwater to her death. Despite a morning drizzle, visitors stood in line for two hours beginning at 9 a.m. to see the first performance. The show featured a tribute to Dawn Brancheau, who drowned Wednesday after the orca Tilikum yanked her by her ponytail and pulled her underwater. Billy Grady and his family, tourists from Georgia, returned to the park to see the show after it was canceled Friday.
February 27, 2010 |
SeaWorld Orlando and its sister parks in San Diego and San Antonio will resume performances of their killer whale shows Saturday, although trainers will be forbidden from swimming with the animals while the company investigates what led to this week's fatal attack by one of its orcas. Tilikum, the 6-ton killer whale that pulled a veteran trainer underwater to her death Wednesday, will not perform Saturday. The company had suspended its popular show in Shamu Stadium after the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau.
February 26, 2010 |
A SeaWorld Orlando animal trainer died Wednesday from "multiple traumatic injuries and drowning" after a killer whale pulled her underwater by her long ponytail near the theme park's Shamu Stadium, authorities said Thursday. Dawn Brancheau, 40, was "interacting" with the killer whale in knee-deep water "when the animal grabbed her by the hair, said to be in a long ponytail, and pulled her underwater," according to a statement from the Orange County Sheriff's Office. "Rescuers were not able to immediately jump in and render assistance" to Brancheau because of the orca's "aggressive nature."