Moving Luna the Orca

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Moving Luna the Orca

Luna the orca either abandoned his pod or was evicted from it shortly after he was born in 1999. Ever since, he has been hanging out playing with humans in Nootka Sound in BC. The Canadian Government is spending  $500,000 CAD , partly raised from contributions from well-meaning, but naïve people, to attempt to capture him and take him to the Puget Sound in the USA where the rest of his pod live.

I think this is foolish for eight reasons.

  1. Luna is in a relatively remote area right now. He would be far more of a nuisance in the densely populated waters near Seattle. Where he is in Nootka Sound, the natives have been dealing with orcas for thousands of years. They are happy to have him and are willing to put up with him. No one else really is.
  2. Luna is in relatively clean water now. He would be at risk from the polluted waters of the Puget Sound near the sewers of Seattle.
  3. We have no idea why Luna is alienated from his pod. Those reasons most likely still apply. A tearful family reunion is highly unlikely. That is a Disney fantasy.
  4. Even if Luna does rejoin his pod, there is no guarantee he will lose his attraction to playing with humans and boats.
  5. If a bear were causing a minor nuisance in northern BC, it would be obviously nuts to trap him and take him to Seattle and release him near the Space Needle. This is analogously what we are doing to Luna.
  6. Luna is not lost. If he wanted to visit Seattle, he could get there in a matter of days on his own. He has made it clear he does not want to be moved. He has a brain larger than yours or mine. We have no right to meddle in the life of such an intelligent creature.
  7. If we interfere and drag him off to Seattle, what is to stop him swimming back home again after his expensive junket at taxpayer expense?
  8. As a tourist attraction, Luna is worth about  $6,000,000.00 CAD . Why are we spending  $500,000.00 CAD to get rid of such an asset? Why not make the best of this? Give Luna a bay to himself, and let tourists come from around the planet to view him from a safe distance and let him interact with trained handlers?

The Case For Moving Luna

The main argument for moving Luna is that there was another young whale, a two-year old female, Springer who was successfully reunited. Springer gave up boat chasing after reuniting with her pod. Five-year old Luna has been separated 3 years. Springer was only separated 6 months. It is guess work what will happen with Luna.

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