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Orca: The Whale Called Killer

* Book Type:




Publisher: Firefly Books

Edition Notes: Revised Edition, ebook
Author Statement: Erich Hoyt
Audience: Trade
Specs: maps, charts, 8 pages full color photos
Pages: 260
Trim Size: 6" X 9"
Language code 1: eng
Publication Date: 20131106
Copyright Year: 2014
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Orca: The Whale Called Killer

"Hoyt's passionate sense of kinship with orca makes his account effective as both a science and literature. He has chronicled his adventures and discoveries ...with grace, insight, wit--and a comprehensiveness that might satisfy even Herman Melville."
(Discover Magazine)

Star performers in aquariums and marine parks, killer whales were once considered to be too dangerous to approach in the wild. Erich Hoyt and his colleagues spent seven summers following these intelligent and playful creatures in the waters off northern Vancouver Island, intent on dispelling the killer myth. Orca: The Whale Called Killer is Hoyt's exciting account of those summers of adventure and discovery, and the definitive, classic work on the orca or killer whale.

The Free Willy films, inspired in part by Hoyt's pioneering writing about orcas, tell the story of a captive orca being returned to the wild. (Hoyt, in fact, recommended Keiko, the orca who became the star of Free Willy, to Warner Bros.) But Orca: The Whale Called Killer tells the true story of wild orcas befriending humans.

Bio: Erich Hoyt has spent much of his life on, beneath or near the sea, working with whales and dolphins and marine conservation. The acclaimed author of Creatures of the Deep, Meeting the Whales, Riding With the Dolphins, The Earth Dwellers and Insect Lives, Hoyt lives in Scotland.

Preface:

FOREWORD by Sir Peter Scott

Erich Hoyt's book is a splendid introduction to one of the most fascinating and charismatic animals in the world. He blends the story of his exciting adventures working with orcas off the coast of British Columbia with plenty of facts about their behaviour and natural history, which makes a most readable mixture.

Whales and dolphins are all highly intelligent, but orcas are perhaps the most intelligent. Hence, the interactions between people and orcas are extraordinary. Humans and orcas, for example, are curious about one another: they investigate each other, they sing to each other, and they copy each other's tunes. One difference is that while both are among the top predators, orcas never kill men, but men still kill orcas.

As Erich Hoyt acknowledges, the public attitude toward orcas has changed over the last 20 years, partly because the whales have been widely exhibited in aquariums. Familiarity has bred affection, and fear has been replaced with respect. However, I am uneasy about keeping these powerful animals in concrete swimming pools -- and making a lot of money out of doing so. The aquarium owners justify this by saying they are teaching people about whales and dolphins, but the price for the orcas is particularly high. It must be preferable for people to see whales and dolphins swimming freely in the sea, and I hope that more and more people will be able to do so from boats whose skippers know how to get close to these exciting animals without disturbing them. Erich Hoyt's book shows in vivid detail how much more can be learned this way.

On August 29, 1989, only days after writing this foreword for the third edition, Sir Peter Scott died at his home in England at age 79. As a founder of the World Wildlife Fund and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and, more recently, as president of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Sir Peter devoted his life to conservation, using his talents as an ecologist, ornithologist, painter, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Briton to be knighted for services to conservation. The fruits of his efforts remain -- all around us and in the way we think. He has sharpened our awareness of the urgency to act on behalf of the Earth.

TOC:

CONTENTS

Foreword
Prologue
Part One: First Summer

    Killer Whale Country
    The Sonic Creature
    The Predator and Man
    The Whale Census
    Swimming With Whales
    Sleeping Whales
Part Two: Fall/Winter
    Captives
Part Three: Second Summer
    A Killer Whale Day
    Stubbs
Part Four: Third Summer
    The Rubbing Beach
Part Five: In Later Years
    A Future For Orcas in the Northwest?
Epilogue
Appendices
    Appendix 1: The Diet of the Killer Whale: A List of Known Prey
    Appendix 2: Population of Killer Whales in British Columbia and Washington Waters: Pod Size and Composition 1981-1987
    Appendix 3: Local and National Names for Orcinus Orca
    Appendix 4: World Catch Statistics for Killer Whales
    Appendix 6: Killer Whales Kept Captive
    Appendix 7: Institutions That Have Kept Killer Whales Captive
    Appendix 8: A Concise History of Man and Orca
Bibliography
Index

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