Saturday, March 11, 2006 "The Katrina of Orca advocacy"

The world was saddened today by the death of a revered poet, philosopher, and statesman, Luna the killer whale:
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.

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.
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.
"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.

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