The young killer whale, which somehow got separated from his whale family in the back bays of Vancouver Island, died in a grisly collision with a tugboat's propeller Friday.Alongside this paragraph is picture captioned "Bonding with people and boats may have led to Luna's demise." Hear that, kids? Don't try to bond with boats.
The death of a whale that attracted thousands of tourists -- some from overseas -- sparked anew arguments over whether Canadian officials and native leaders mishandled the situation.
One minute Luna was frolicking around the back of a boat, as he did routinely in an attempt to secure the companionship he craved.
The next minute, he was sucked into a tube containing a propeller powered by a 1,700-horsepower engine. It chopped the whale into bits. Until authorities recovered a large piece of the carcass, they were unsure they would even be able to positively identify the creature.
"I'm furious!" said Michael Harris of the Orca Conservancy, the Seattle-based group that had consistently argued that the whale should be recaptured and returned to his whale family, known as L pod, which frequents the waters around the San Juan Islands.
"This is the Katrina of orca advocacy," Harris said. "We saw a perfect storm gathering, and they sat around and did nothing, and now we've got a dead whale! It's incredibly tragic and frustrating."The International Criminal Court will be investigating, and Cindy Sheehan is expected to make a statement. All over the world Canadian embassies are surrounded by seething crowds of Orca advocates.