The fascinating and heartbreaking account of the first publicly exhibited captive killer whale – a story that forever changed the way we see orcas and sparked the movement to save them Killer whales had always been seen as bloodthirsty sea monsters. That all changed when a young killer whale was captured off the west coast of North America and displayed to the public in 1964. Moby Doll – as the whale became known – was an instant celebrity, drawing 20,000 visitors on the one and only day he was exhibited. He died within a few months, but his famous gentleness sparked a worldwide crusade that transformed how people understood and appreciated orcas. Because of Moby Doll, we stopped fearing "killers" and grew to love and respect "orcas".
Mark Leiren-Young is an award-winning journalist, screenwriter, playwright, and author. He received the Leacock medal for his memoir Never Shoot a Stampede Queen, and the El Prat de Llobregat Award for his film The Green Chain. He lives in Vancouver.