Feb. 21 film, talk in Port Angeles to follow wayward orca
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A scene from “The Whale,” which will be shown in Peninsula College's Maier Performance Hall on Friday, Feb. 21.

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A documentary film and a panel discussion on an orca that became lost in a remote waterway in British Columbia is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21.

“The Whale” will be screened in Maier Performance Hall on Peninsula College's Port Angeles campus, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

The documentary's screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Robin Baird, a research biologist with Cascadia Research, and Richard Osborne, a marine biologist and research consultant with the Olympic Natural Resources Center in Forks.

Admission to the film, part of the Magic of Cinema film series, is $5 or free with a current Peninsula College student ID.

Luna's story

The film tells the story of Luna, an orca who turned up in 2001 in Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Luna was born into the Southern Resident community of orcas, which spends summers eating salmon in the Salish Sea. Orcas who belong to the Southern Resident community generally never leave the family group.

But when Luna was less than 2 years old, he was somehow separated from his family and wound up by himself in the fjord.

“There weren't any familiar orcas in Nootka Sound, but there were people, in boats and on the shore. So he started trying to make contact. And people welcomed him. Most of them,” according to the film's website at www.thewhalemovie.com.

The documentary explores the ethical and practical questions that arose as people tried to help Luna.

The predecessor to “The Whale” was a film titled “Saving Luna,” which was released in 2008.

Baird is also a member of the Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals of the United States.

His current research projects include studies of diving behavior, movement patterns and food habits of killer whales in Washington state, and beaked whales, false killer whales and several other species of odontocetes in Hawaii.

Osborne is also a research consultant at the University of Washington's College of the Environment and School of Environment and Forest Services.

Future films

Magic of Cinema will show two films Feb. 28: “Rebirth of the Elwha” and “River as Spirit,” both directed by Shelly Solomon.

Magic of Cinema is sponsored by the Peninsula College Associated Student Council.

For more information on the film series, email Sean Gomez at sgomez@pencol.edu.

For information on Peninsula College events, visit www.pencol.edu or www.facebook.com/PeninsulaCollege.

Last modified: February 13. 2014 7:34PM
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