In the 1960s, Paul Spong was a young neuroscientist at the University of British Columbia. Then, part of his job was to study orcas (or killer whales) at an aquarium. But Spong quickly understood how badly these highly sentient, intelligent creatures suffered in captivity. So he moved to a remote island six hours north of Vancouver and founded OrcaLab—a scientific outpost committed to studying orcas in the wild without disturbing them. Using hydrophones and video cameras, Spong and his team can listen to and track orcas within a 31-mile radius. Over the course of almost 50 years, Spong has learned a great deal about these wondrous ocean dwellers. It has given him a sense of inner peace. To help others understand more about orcas, OrcaLab broadcasts its audio feed live through its website, which you can see here: http://www.orca-live.net.
Spong’s hope is that the feed will encourage a greater appreciation for these majestic mammals, and even the possibility of world peace.
This story is a part of our Planet Earth series. From mammals to insects and birds to reptiles, we share this great big world with all manner of creatures, large and small. Come with us to faraway places as we explore our great big planet and meet some of its wildest inhabitants.
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