Academic journal article Science Scope

The Whale

Academic journal article Science Scope

The Whale

Article excerpt

By Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit. $59. Bullfrog Films. Oley, PA. 2010. ISBN: 9781937772667.

Stakeholders in any situation see solutions from different perspectives. Those involved in the case of Luna, an abandoned two-year-old orca roaming the waterways of British Columbia off the coast of Vancouver, were no exception. The whale attracted worldwide attention and directly impacted a community. Each stakeholder held strikingly varied opinions about what to do with this lonely whale that had been tagged as L98 and nicknamed Luna.

The Whale: The True Story of Luna is a film that chronicles the tale of a whale separated from his pod and how interwoven it becomes in the daily lives of people. The anthropomorphic traits ascribed to Luna are difficult to avoid as he interacts with individuals by trailing boats, nudging canoes, and seeming to play fetch by bringing floating sticks to outstretched hands. Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm were intrigued by Luna when they worked on an article about him for the Smithsonian. They found a community that wanted to interact with the orca and, in essence, befriend him; float plane owners furious about the damage Luna caused to their planes; governmental agencies that wanted human contact with the whale to be minimal or non-existent, to the extent that they threatened people with a $100,000 fine; the First Nations tribe that believed Luna was a reincarnation of their chief; and an active stewardship program to preserve orcas in the wild. …

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