Whales: We want to watch them, to save them, to read all about them. They are so large—larger than life—that they are symbols in our literature and in our lives. Yet they remain elusive to us, due in part to their nature (deep-diving and difficult to track for sustained periods of time) and to our nature (killing what fascinates us, industrialization, greed). These four stories demonstrate humans’ multi-faceted relationship with whales—where politics, the environment and the economy intermingle with love, terror and cruelty.
1. “Chasing Bayla.” (Sarah Schweitzer, Boston Globe, August 2014)
Let’s start off strong. Sarah Schweitzer has written a masterful story, here: one of hard work, daring rescues, danger and heartbreak. Dr. Michael Moore created a sedative to calm endangered whales trapped in deadly fishing wire. But is his invention enough to free the animals he studied all his life? (I cried.)
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