One man's efforts to rescue killer whales helps shift tide in orcas' favor一個人的全力營救虎鯨有助於逆戟鯨的青睞轉變大潮

By Ivan Watson and Gena Somra, CNN
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 0018 GMT (0818 HKT)
Watch this video

Choosing between hunting & saving whales

 
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jeff Foster used to take part in hunts to capture orcas
  • He began to feel guilty about separation of mothers, young
  • Foster now is involved in efforts to free killer whale held in Canary Islands
 

Seattle, Washington (CNN) -- After sprinting for more than an hour up the Puget Sound, a group of migrant killer whales suddenly slowed and began circling so close to our boat, that we could hear bursts of air as they exhaled through their blowholes.

"That one's got something in its mouth right there," said Jeff Foster, the marine mammal expert on board the boat. The dorsal fin of one of the whales sliced up out of the water, protruding more than four feet out of the water, like some kind of black windsurfing sail.

These transient orcas, which may have traveled to the Pacific Northwest from as far away as Central America, appeared to be sharing a snack: an unlucky harbor seal.

"They'll feed on harbor seals, sea lions, other whales, on animals as large as blue whales," Foster explained.

 
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Foster has a lifetime of experience working closely with killer whales, one of the world's largest predators. His unique relationship with orcas is one that has evolved over the decades.

By his own account, the Seattle native was only 15 years old when he first got involved with capturing killer whales in Puget Sound.

In the 1960s, this port was the birthplace of the captive killer whale industry.

For Foster, the son of a prominent wildlife veterinarian, getting the chance to work with the Seattle Marine Aquarium capturing and training killer whales was a dream come true.

"It was amazing to have these big, giant, powerful animals and you're manipulating these things around like they're almost a balloon," Foster recalled.

'Things started changing'

In the early days of the captive whale industry, Foster and his colleagues were celebrated for their achievements. In 1965, when his mentors captured the first killer whale, Namu, Foster says they were given the key to the city of the Seattle, and featured in National Geographic.

Foster captured a couple dozen whales during almost two decades, beginning in 1972. He says during that time, the industry experienced tremendous turmoil.

I started to feel guilty, separating a mom from a calf... It's almost like a baby's cry, and it tugs at your heart. 
Jeff Foster, former whale capturer

"In a few short years, things started changing. People realized that these animals were highly intelligent and we started learning more about them in the wild," Foster recalls. "We learned that these whales stay in social groups for their entire lives."

Activists began to question the manner in which whales were captured.

"When they saw how the captures took place, there was a lot of outcry," Foster says.

In 1976, Washington state sued SeaWorld, then Foster's employer, for allegedly violating the terms of permits used for whale captures and won.

Foster says that as part of the decision, "we agreed that we would no longer capture killer whales in Puget Sound, but we would instead get permits from outside the country."

So Foster and his team packed up their operation, and headed to Iceland, where he worked as a contractor for SeaWorld and other companies and began capturing the large sea animals in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

The former killer whale hunter shared hours of home videos of the captures, some of which he filmed in the 1980s.

In some cases, Foster can be heard narrating as fishing trawlers operating in the open ocean encircle a family of killer whales and isolate individual animals.

"Still got two [whales] in the net. Oh! We got four in the net!" Foster says in one video, filmed at night.

When the fishermen then hoist a young whale out of the water using a crane and a net, the whale can immediately be heard emitting high-pitched squeals of panic.

The distress calls continue hours later, after the whale has been transported to land and eventually lowered into a shallow pool.

 
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Watch newborn whale swim with mom

In one of the videos, Foster can be seen helping a recently-captured young whale swim in the chest-deep pool. The animal is so disoriented after capture that it is unable to keep itself upright in the water. Dressed in bright orange dry-suit and sporting the same shaggy blond haircut he wears today, Foster guides the whale around the pool, massaging its flippers.

In a separate video dating back to 1986, four young whales are seen lying at the bottom of a drained pool, periodically squealing as a veterinarian injects them with antibiotics, and as other members of Foster's team hose them down with water.

By Foster's account, he assisted in the capture of dozens of whales from his base in Iceland.

'I felt less and less excited'

But as time went on, he says, the hunters had to adopt strategies to avoid getting targeted by activists.

"We traveled under different names sometimes. By the mid-80s, some of the activist groups infiltrated SeaWorld and some of the other marine parks," remembers Foster. "They were seeing what the industry was like from the inside. And things really started changing at that point."

It was then, Foster says, that SeaWorld decided to not do any more wild captures.

Foster had also begun to question the practice. "I felt less and less excited each time I did it," he says.

"I started to feel guilty, separating a mom from a calf," Foster admits. "It's almost like a baby's cry, and it tugs at your heart."

"But I justified it by saying that it was for its educational value," he adds.

Over time, Foster began to doubt his own justifications for the captures.

It got to the point where I was literally looking in the mirror and I said, I can't do this. I cannot be involved in any more captures of killer whales.
Jeff Foster

"I started spending more time with animals in the wild than in a captive situation. And I felt the more we learned about them, the more strongly I felt they shouldn't be in concrete pools. I just don't know if we can make a concrete pool big enough," he says.

So Foster left the industry in 1990, turning his attention to animal conservation. In subsequent projects, he rescued and rehabilitated marine animals and began to help return them to the wild.

One of those projects involved returning Keiko, the killer whale that became the inspiration for the blockbuster film, "Free Willy," back to the wild. After spending decades in captivity, Keiko was eventually released off of the coast of Iceland, but he died the following year.

Foster also helped rehabilitate the killer whale Springer, which was found lost and disoriented in Puget Sound. In 2012, CNN interviewed Foster on the coast of Turkey, where he was working with the environmentalist organization Born Free, on a project to release two abused captive dolphins back into the Aegean Sea.

He got an offer of major dollars

But it was around that time that Foster says he got a very tempting offer to return to the hunt. That offer would have allowed him to retire as a multimillionaire. And it proved almost too hard to refuse.

Foster says he was offered $7 million to capture killer whales off the Pacific coast of Russia. Brokered by an Eastern European middleman, the deal called for Foster to capture eight killer whales. Six of them would have gone to Chinese buyers, Foster says, while the remaining whales were promised for another high-profile destination.

"There was mention that two of the animals would be going to the Olympics, to a town I had never heard of, Sochi," Foster said.

Sochi, the Russian city that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, was embroiled in controversy a few months ahead of the opening ceremonies, after word leaked that the Sochi Dolphinarium, a small dolphin park in the city, would put two new orcas on display to celebrate the games.

Killer whales from aboveKiller whales from above

The Dolphinarium issued a press release calling those reports a hoax aimed at slandering Russia's Winter Olympics, and denied it had ever intended to acquire the whales.

But a permit issued by the Russian fisheries agency says otherwise. That 2012 permit authorized the capture of two killer whales from the Sea of Okhotsk.

And the Far East Russia Orca Project, a killer whale watchdog group, says that more than half a dozen orcas were indeed caught last year in the Sea of Okhotsk.

But it wasn't Foster who captured them. He says he turned down the lucrative offer for moral reasons.

"It got to the point where I was literally looking in the mirror and I said, I can't do this. I cannot be involved in any more captures of killer whales," Foster said.

But Foster hasn't strayed far from the animals he grew to love and care for. He is now involved in the effort Free Morgan, focused on a killer whale that is currently at the SeaWorld-affiliated park, Loro Parque, in Spain's Canary Islands.

Morgan was brought to the marine park after she was found disoriented and sick off the coast of the Netherlands.

On two visits to Loro Parque, Foster says he saw Morgan abused by larger killer whales and said she was so despondent she was banging her head against the side of the pool. He says she also constantly called out for her missing family.

"She made these loud screaming calls, and it's continual, over and over," he says. "At that point, it really hit home that this poor animal is in a terrible situation with a very dysfunctional group of animals."

Foster says he realized that Morgan needed to be moved so that she would no longer suffer, so he added his voice to the "Free Morgan," campaign.

But in April, after a lengthy, multi-year appeal process, a court in the Netherlands disagreed -- ruling the whale should stay in the park.

In an impassioned statement, the park's owner defended the court's decision by saying, "I honestly think that this decision can be seen as a pardon for Morgan because her release would have meant suffering and death."

For now, Morgan remains at Loro Parque, and with little legal recourse to change the outcome of her case, this former orca hunter is learning it's far easier to capture a killer whale than it is to set one free.

一個人的全力營救虎鯨有助於逆戟鯨的青睞轉變大潮
看到演出時間»
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由伊万·沃森和頰Somra,CNN
二零一四年十一月十九日 - 更新0018 GMT(0818 HKT)
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狩獵和節能鯨魚之間進行選擇
新聞提要
傑夫 - 福斯特用於參加狩獵捕捉虎鯨
他開始感到內疚的母親分離,年輕
福斯特目前參與力度,以釋放在加那利群島舉行的虎鯨
西雅圖,華盛頓(CNN) -衝刺後的一個多小時了普吉特海灣,一組外來務工虎鯨突然放緩,並開始盤旋如此接近我們的船,我們可以聽到空氣陣陣,因為他們通過自己的氣孔噴出。
“一個人的得到的東西含在口中就在那裡,”傑夫 - 福斯特,船上的船海洋哺乳動物專家說。鯨之一的背鰭切片,出來的水,突出四尺多出來的水,像某種黑帆板帆。
這些短暫的逆戟鯨,這可能是從遠在中美洲前往西北太平洋地區,似乎在分享零食:一個不幸的斑海豹。
“他們會捕食海豹,海獅,鯨魚等,在動物一樣大藍鯨,”福斯特解釋。
罕見的錄像顯示,殺人鯨的捕獲 FMR。鯨獵人提供了數以百萬計打獵
福斯特的經驗與逆戟鯨,是世界上最大的食肉動物之一,密切合作一輩子。他與逆戟鯨的獨特關係是一個已經發展了幾十年。
按他自己的說法,西雅圖當地當時只有15歲的時候,他第一次被捲入與捕捉虎鯨在普吉特海灣。
在20世紀60年代,這個端口是圈養虎鯨業的發源地。
對於福斯特,是一位著名的野生動物獸醫的兒子,獲得與西雅圖海洋水族館捕捉和訓練虎鯨工作的機會是一個夢想成真。
“這是驚人的,有這些大的,巨大的,強大的動物,你處理這些事情像他們幾乎氣球圍繞,”福斯特回憶說。
“事情開始改變”
在圈養​​鯨魚行業的初期,福斯特和他的同事們慶祝他們的成就。1965年,當他的導師拍攝的第一殺手鯨,娜姆,福斯特說,他們分別獲得了關鍵的城市西雅圖,並刊登在國家地理。
福斯特在近二十年拍攝的幾十個鯨,開始於1972年。他說,在這段時間裡,該行業經歷了巨大的動盪。
我開始感到內疚,從小腿分離的媽媽......這幾乎就像一個嬰兒的哭聲,並扯著你的心臟。
傑夫-福斯特,前鯨的捕捉

“在短短幾年內,事情開始發生變化。人們認識到,這些動物都是高度智能化,我們開始更多地了解它們在野外,”福斯特回憶說。“我們了解到,這些鯨留在了他們的整個生活的社會群體。”
活動人士開始質疑在鯨魚被抓獲的方式。
“當他們看到如何捕捉發生,有很多嘩然,”福斯特說。
1976年,華盛頓州起訴海洋世界,那麼福斯特的雇主,涉嫌違反了用於捕捉鯨魚和韓元許可證條款。
福斯特說,作為決策的一部分,“我們一致認為,我們將不再捕捉虎鯨在普吉特海灣,但我們不是拿證來自國外。”
因此,福斯特和他的團隊收拾好自己的操作,並前往冰島,在那裡他作為一個承包商,海洋世界等公司,並開始捕捉大型的海洋動物在北大西洋冰冷的海面。
前者虎鯨獵人共享的捕捉,其中一些他在20世紀80年代拍攝的家庭錄像小時。
在某些情況下,福斯特可以聽到敘述在開放的海洋捕撈作業的拖網漁船圍繞一個家庭虎鯨和分離單個動物。
“不過有兩個[鯨魚]在網哦!我們在網上有四!” 福斯特說,在一個視頻,拍攝夜景。
當漁民然後扯起一個年輕的鯨了使用起重機,淨的水,鯨魚可以立即聽到發出驚恐的高亢的尖叫聲。
求救電話後繼續小時後,鯨魚已被運到陸地,並最終降低到一個淺水池。
近距離用80000磅。座頭鯨 鯨會哭股交易技巧 看著媽媽新生兒游泳的鯨魚
在影片之一,福斯特可以看出,幫助在齊胸深池最近捕獲的幼鯨游泳。動物捕捉,它無法保持自身直立在水中後,讓迷失方向。穿著鮮豔的橙色幹衣服和運動一樣毛茸茸的金發碧眼的髮型,他今天穿,福斯特導遊游泳池周圍的鯨魚,按摩它的鰭狀肢。
在一個獨立的視頻可以追溯到1986年,四位年輕鯨被認為躺在一個排水池的底部,週期性嘯作為一名獸醫將它們注射抗生素,並作為福斯特的團隊其他成員軟管下來的水。
福斯特的說法,他在幾十個從他的基地在冰島鯨的捕獲輔助。
“我覺得少了興奮”
但隨著時間的推移,他說,獵人只好採取策略來避免被攻擊的目標分子。
“我們有時會根據不同的名字走。到了80年代中期,一些激進組織的滲透海洋世界和其他一些海洋公園,”福斯特回憶。“他們看到什麼行業就像從裡面,而事情真正開始在這一點上發生變化。”
就在這時,福斯特說,這海洋世界決定不再做任何更多的野生捕獲。
福斯特也開始質疑這種做法。“我覺得少,每次我這樣做,是不太興奮,”他說。
“我開始感到內疚,分離小牛媽媽,”福斯特承認。“這幾乎就像一個嬰兒的哭聲,並扯著你的心臟。”
“但我說,這是它的教育價值有道理的,”他補充道。
隨著時間的推移,福斯特開始懷疑自己的理據捕獲。
它得到了我在那裡從字面上看鏡中的點和我說,我不能這樣做。我不能參與逆戟鯨的更多截圖。
傑夫-福斯特

“我開始花更多的時間與動物在野外比在圈養情況下,我覺得我們越了解他們,越強烈,我覺得他們不應該在混凝土水池。我不知道我們能不能做一個混凝土水池不夠大,“他說。
因此,福斯特離開了這個行業在1990年,把注意力轉移到動物保護。在隨後的項目中,他救出,恢復海洋動物,並開始幫助他們回歸野外。
其中一個項目涉及惠子回國,虎鯨,成為靈感的電影大片,“人魚的童話”,回到野外。在人工飼養花費幾十年後,惠子最終發布在冰島海岸,但他於次年去世。
福斯特還幫助恢復虎鯨施普林格,該產品被發現失落和迷失方向的普吉特海灣。2012年,美國有線電視新聞網採訪了福斯特在土耳其,在那裡他正在與環保組織生而自由,在一個項目推出兩款被虐飼養的海豚放回愛琴海沿岸。
他得到的主要美元報價
但它是在那個時候福斯特說,他有一個非常誘人的提議,返回到追捕。這一提議將允許他退休的千萬富翁。而事實證明幾乎是太難以拒絕。
福斯特說,他得到了700萬美元捕捉虎鯨關俄羅斯的太平洋海岸。由東歐中間人斡旋,呼籲福斯特交易捕捉到8虎鯨。他們六人會去中國買家,福斯特說,其餘的鯨魚被許諾另一個備受矚目的目的地。
“有提到這兩個動物要到奧運會,到我鎮從來沒有聽說過,索契,”福斯特說。
索契,即主辦2014年冬季奧運會的俄羅斯城市,被捲入爭論了幾個月提前開幕式,之後一句話洩露了索契海豚,小海豚公園在城市中,會把兩個新的逆戟鯨的顯示器慶祝遊戲。
從上面的虎鯨 從上面的虎鯨
在海豚發出新聞稿,稱這些報導是騙局旨在污衊俄羅斯的冬季奧運會,並否認曾有意收購鯨魚。
不過,俄羅斯漁業局頒發的許可證,否則說。,2012年授權證兩虎鯨從鄂霍次克海捕獲。
與俄羅斯遠東地區的Orca項目,一個虎鯨監督組織說,超過半打的逆戟鯨是在鄂霍次克海確實抓住了最後一年。
但它不是福斯特誰抓住他們。他說,他拒絕了利潤豐厚的報價為道德原因。
“它得到了我在那裡從字面上看鏡中的點和我說,我不能這樣做,我不能參與逆戟鯨的更多的捕捉,”福斯特說。
不過,福斯特並沒有從他從小就愛和照顧動物誤入遠。他現在參與活動免費摩根,集中了虎鯨是目前在海洋世界附屬公園,鸚鵡公園,在西班牙的加那利群島。
摩根被帶到海洋公園後,她被發現神誌不清,病離荷蘭海岸。
在兩次訪問鸚鵡公園,福斯特說,他看到摩根大通過逆戟鯨被濫用,說她是如此的沮喪,她敲她的頭靠在池邊。他說,她還不斷地叫了她失踪的家人。
“她做這些響亮的尖叫調用,它的持續,一遍又一遍,”他說。“在這一點上,它確實擊中了要害,這個可憐的小動物是動物的一種非常不正常的一群可怕的局面。”
福斯特說,他意識到,摩根需要被感動,讓她不再受苦,所以他說他的聲音,以“自由摩根,”戰役。
但在4月,漫長,多年的上訴程序後,在荷蘭法院不同意 - 執政的鯨魚應該留在公園裡。
在慷慨激昂的陳述,園區的主人說,辯護,法院的判決“老實說,我認為這個決定可以看作是赦免摩根,因為她的發行就意味著痛苦和死亡。”
目前,摩根仍然是鸚鵡公園,並與小訴諸法律來改變她的案件的結果,這個前逆戟鯨獵人是學習它更容易捕捉虎鯨比它設置一個免費的。

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