Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm
St. Martin's Press
The heartbreaking and true story of a lonely orca named Luna who befriended humans in Nootka Sound, off the coast of Vancouver Island by Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm.
One summer in Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, a young killer whale called Luna got separated from his pod. Like humans, orcas are highly social and depend on their families, but Luna found himself desperately alone. So he tried to make contact with people. He begged for attention at boats and docks. He looked soulfully into people's eyes. He wanted to have his tongue rubbed. When someone whistled at him, he squeaked and whistled back. People fell in love with him, but the government decided that being friendly with Luna was bad for him, and tried to keep him away from humans. Policemen arrested people for rubbing Luna’s nose. Fines were levied. Undaunted, Luna refused to give up his search for connection and people went out to meet him, like smugglers carrying friendship through the dark. But does friendship work between species? People who loved Luna couldn't agree on how to help him. Conflict came to Nootka Sound. The government built a huge net. The First Nations’ members brought out their canoes. Nothing went as planned, and the ensuing events caught everyone by surprise and challenged the very nature of that special and mysterious bond we humans call friendship. The Lost Whale celebrates the life of a smart, friendly, determined, transcendent being from the sea who appeared among us like a promise out of the blue: that the greatest secrets in life are still to be discovered.
"The Lost Whale recounts an incredible, complex and heart-wrenching story, a drama of science, ethics, politics and emotion from which no reader can remain impassive. Ultimately, the question at the heart of The Lost Whale explores the nature of empathy. That question, and so many others raised by this book, will stay with me for a long time. This book is a fitting tribute to the whale called Luna, and to all the people who cared so deeply for his well-being."--Eva Saulitis, author of Into Great Silence: A Memoir of Discovery and Loss in the Realm of Vanishing Orcas
“Luna’s story brings a thorny dilemma to the table—what should humanity’s role toward nature be?—and the book does a surprisingly good job of showing the range of emotions behind that question.”--Publishers Weekly
"A tender, nail-biting account of an orca’s fate."—Kirkus Reviews