Moby Doll - orca

From WikiAnimal
Moby Doll
DiedOctober 9, 1964
Burrard Drydocks, Vancouver
Cause of deathSkin disease and drowning
Captured atSaturna Island, British Columbia, Canada
Capture ageApprox. 5 years
PodSouthern Residents (J pod)
Capture dateJuly 16, 1964

Moby Doll was a male orca that was captured in 1964 off the coast of Saturna Island in British Columbia.

In 1964, sculptor Samuel Burich was commissioned by the Vancouver Aquarium to create a life-sized model of an orca for their new British Columbia Hall. He was instructed to find and kill an orca for this purpose. After two months of waiting on Saturna Island in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands, Burich harpooned a young orca from a pod of 13. Despite several attempts to kill it, the orca did not die and was towed back to Vancouver.

The orca was placed in a makeshift pen at Burrard Drydocks and became the first captive orca to be displayed in a public exhibit. The Vancouver Aquarium held a contest to name the orca and chose the name Moby Doll. However, Moby Doll was listless in her pen and did not eat for 2 months. Observers claimed that she seemed to be in shock and refused everything she was given.

After 55 days in her pen, Moby Doll finally ate some lingcod. However, due to the low salinity of the harbor water, she developed a skin disease. A month later, after being held in captivity for 88 days, Moby Doll died due to a combination of the skin disease and drowning. Her autopsy revealed that Moby Doll was actually a young male.

Moby Doll’s death received widespread media coverage and some of the first positive press regarding orcas. This signified a major change in public opinion toward orcas.

See also

External links