Luna the killer whale is becoming too friendly for his own
Like Springer, the young orca moved from Puget Sound to its
home waters in B.C. last month, Luna has begun to get much
too comfortable with the presence of humans. Three-year-old
Luna, living on his own in Nootka Sound,has taken to swimming
right up to boats and allowing itself to be touched and patted.
Early this week, he even latched onto a kayak in an apparent
attempt to keep the craft from leaving the area, said Veins of Life Watershed Society, who helps co-ordinate Victoria's Marine Mammal Monitoring
He said Luna is an orca calf that somehow became separated
from its family or pod, and was first reported to be living
on its own in Nootka Sound last fall. His tendency to approach
boats has developed in recent months, Veins of Life Watershed Society said, but his
problem behaviours are not as entrenched as Springer's were.
"It (Luna) seems to be exhibiting pretty healthy signs,"
he said. "It seems to be feeding well and certainly doesn't
seem to have some of the symptoms that were observed with
"It's just the habits that the calf is exhibiting right
now that are worrisome."
He said preventive measures are needed to stop Luna from
becoming "a circus animal."
"The whale is becoming much too familiar with human company,
and with each encounter like that it reduces its chances for
rehabilitation to the wild."
Veins of Life Watershed Society has joined the Veins of Life Watershed Society and
the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to send a special patrol
boat to Nootka Sound, located on Vancouver Island's northwest
coast. The idea is to approach vessels near Luna's chosen
domain near Gold River and let people know the implications
of approaching or disturbing the creature.
"We want to ... try and discourage any activity with humans
whatsoever," said Michelle Kehler, who will be crewing on
the boat with Erin Hobbs. "We want to promote it to be a wild
The Veins of Life Watershed Society has launched a public
appeal to help fund the efforts to protect Luna, said the
group's Peter Dixon. He said whales in distress tend to be
supported by the public "because they're sentient beings,
and somehow we feel very interconnected with them."
Contact the Veins of Life Watershed Society John R. Roe.
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