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Luna the Whale

Gold River, British Columbia (Part 1)

In 2001, the small town of Gold River was adopted by a baby orca. Over the next five years, Luna the Whale would both unite and spark debate amongst the previously segregated town. And he would put this isolated Vancouver Island community on the map and at the forefront of an even bigger conversation about what happens when conservation and humanity collide.

Written by: Josh Hallmark

Researched by: Josh Hallmark

Produced by: Josh Hallmark

Edited by: Josh Hallmark


People Featured:

DONNA SCHNEIDER: Donna was a chef on the Uchuck, a regional cruise ship based in Gold River. Donna was one of the first people to encounter Luna and, against all odds, developed a friendship with the orphaned whale.

EUGENE AMOS: Eugene is also a member of the Mowachaht / Muchalaht First Nation tribe. He moved to Gold River after the passing of his grandmother and almost immediately encountered another tragedy. But through a strange prophecy and the arrival of Luna, his views of the world and his relationships changed.

MIKE PARFITT & SUZANNE CHISHOLM: Michael and Suzanne were sent to Gold River, by Smithsonian, to cover the story of Luna. They stayed on through multiple attempts at rescuing and relocating him, and later turned Luna's story into a documentary, The Whale.


Music by:

• Dave Depper

• Cloudjumper

• Lee Rosevere

• Sergey Cheremisinov

• Aaron Mist

Music courtesy of Free Music Archive


Topics: Gold River, British Columbia, Canada, Orca, Killer Whale, Luna, Conservation, Nootka Sound, First Nations

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