Killers in Eden
Video: Orcas on the Hunt

Residents of Eden recall how the killer whales would help in the hunt by harassing trapped baleen whales.

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  • Raymond Pierotti, PhD

    This is an incredible story about cooperation between humans and orcas. It shows that culture definitely exists in these intelligent mammals and that cultural traditions can be broken easily through careless and thoughtless behavior. I can only wonder how many other relationships like this have been lost through the attitudes of people who consider nonhumans to only be resources for humans. Danielle Clode however, barely seems to know what she is talking about. She does a very strange job of representing typical Western science in this episode.

  • Charles Sherrer, Concerned Citizen

    I was only able to catch the tail end of this most fascinating story. Although I am appalled by the entire history of the abhorrent slaughter of this incredible marine species which took place during this time period, I am intrigued by the connection between the indiginous Aboriginal population and the Orcas. If only there was funding to research document, preserve and broadcast the true history and culture of the unfortunate group of survivors. It is clear that their lives are headed for the same fate as many of the species that they have interacted with for thousands of years.
    The Ignorant and malicious acts carried out in Australia then, by the immigrant population is indicative of the exploitation model that been carried out all over the earth by a group of anthropogenic apex predators.
    However unlike the Orcas, which are natural apex predators with a valid purpose, the whalers of that time and those currently engaged in this useless slaughter are driven by a deranged mental blood thirst which is comparable to the genocidal exploits of Adolph Hitler.

    I applaud the objective and insightful efforts of PBS and Nature, FORD Foundation and the producers to provide a glimpse into these milestones of life on Earth. However I implore you to invest some of your resources into special attention for the indigenous peoples of Australia and their connection to nature via their cultural and spiritual history. The truth of their plight deserves to be told, they are worthy of the investment.

  • John Shaughnessy

    This is simply the most astounding story I have seen in my entire life (60 years) having to do with “cooperation” between “wild” creatures and man.

    With our traditional “white-man ethnocentrism”… what I think may be at the true heart of the story… i.e., the true origins of the cooperation… and the story of the actual end of this “cooperative arrangement” is lost… for simply not having been explored with the Aboriginal people themselves!…
    i.e., the “substance” of the connection that had been developed between the Aboriginal peoples and these Orca (I suspect that it might be explained as a “spiritual” connection of sorts between the Orca and the Aboriginal people… by those people. Although it was touched upon… I am DEEPLY distressed that this investigation was not done more systematically and presented in this piece).

    The implications of this story are simply profound in my opinion. Criticisms notwithstanding… this was a profoundly important story and I thank you for presenting it. Please consider a follow-up investigation with the Aboriginal people as to the origins of the relationship… and its termination… if only as an addendum.

    BTW – The tag line above the video doesn’t even BEGIN to HINT at the profundity of how the Orcas interacted with the people of Eden.

    Also BTW… I think that Raymond was MUCH too hard on Dannielle. She was performing an important function in the piece in my opinion… by providing the sober, critical eye on the investigation. Her contribution takes nothing away from the presentation.

  • Josh

    Excellent episode I was wondering if it would be possible to post the entire episode.

  • ForestWander Nature Photography

    These are some of the most amazing hunters in the world.

    I watched some trying to a attack a baby sperm whale the other day.

    They are truly incredible.

    ForestWander Nature Photography

  • patsy cueva

    I have to say this is one of the most amazing, wonderful, beautiful stories I have ever heard of. It completely had me on the edge, I was so inspired by the whole concept, it just made me want to learn and read more and more..thank you so much for taking the time to gather this information, for writing the books, making the videos, just I want to say thank you a hundred times..I really appreciate it and I am going to share this will anyone who comes by way..thank you again, Sincerely Patsy Cueva

  • Dave

    The most amazing Nature show I have seen in years. Please show it again…Thank you

  • Pat Langreck

    I love nature programs, but this was amazing! PLEASE show it again, so my family enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you.
    Sincerely, Pat Langreck

  • Danielle Clode

    I wonder if Raymond cares to provide any actual evidence for his condemnation of my scientific credentials? (Maybe he’s only watched the TV show and hasn’t read my publications??) Unusual to use a popular website to slag off a fellow scientist with unsubstantiated allegations, but each to their own standards of professionalism I suppose….

  • Raymond Pierotti

    I would like to apologize to Dr. Clode for my comments above. Unfortunately the TV show does not deal with her discussion of the role of Aboriginal people in sufficient detail. My original comment was in regard to failure to give proper credit to the Aboriginal people in this interaction. I now realize this was the fault of the filmmakers rather than any weakness on the part of Dr. Clode. Her interesting book on the Killers of Eden makes it clear that this relationship goes back a long way and that the Orcas actually preferred to work with Aboriginal crews. It is a shame that was not given more attention in the film because that would have shown the importance of human and nonhuman interaction that may be many thousands of years old. I hope Dr. Clode’s book becomes more available in North America.

  • Danielle Clode

    Just to let you know that I hope to get my book Killers in Eden republished this year so I’ll do my best to get it available in North America soon. Thanks for all your interest in the subject. The book provides much more information on the indigenous background to this story. Another book you might be interested in tracking down meanwhile is The Whalers by Bronwyn Bancroft (Harper Collins). It’s a beautiful picture book illustrating the Aboriginal oral history of whaling with the orcas.

  • sean

    i was absolutely floored when i watched this episode… very moving… is there any way to purchase this?… one of the greatest stories ive ever heard… more people need to see this

    Sean bronx, n.y.

  • Rebecca

    Hi, have been doing my own reading on this It is so fascinating! i would like to add that in my reading all the info. Someone said that the whaling they did was malicious, but from my reading the Eden whalers maybe killed 8 whales a year! To me this is not malicious or wrong, it is part of our history. Many countries killed more than that in a day back then. I am not saying whaling is ok but back then it was their living & shouldn’t be criticised for it. I agree with the every1 else…very moving, I couldn’t keep my eyes of the screen. Everytime I read something else about this, I just want more to read. lol I am from Australia & would just like to also ask Danielle Clode, will your book be available in Australia this year? I am dying to read it. :)
    Rebecca (Syd, Australia)

  • tieri howell

    Would like to see and share this episode with family and friends. Found it exstremely entertaining and imformational. Please e-mail me if it is possible to get this retelevised. Thank You for all your work and effort to bring shows like to us.

  • Cheryl Moore

    Thank you for presenting this film clip about my ancestors. My family had an excellent relationship with the Aboriginal people of Twofold Bay. My 2x great grandfather Alexander Walker Davidson employed Aboriginal whaling crews on the same pay as white whalers and provided housing for the Aboriginal Crews so they had somewhere to live during the whaling season. Originally from Scotland, he had no prejudices against native Australians. My family learnt so much from them particularly about the Killer Whales and the relationship they had with these giants of the sea can be attributed to that ongoing relationship with the Twofold Bay Aboriginals. My family refused to use anything but hand held harpoons and they never took more whales than they needed to survive. Would they whale today? Most certainly not. This was a centuries old industry that provided the only source of oil. My family is very committed to acklnowledging our partnership with the Twofold Bay Aboriginals who had whaled for centuries before us.

    Thanks again to Greg McKee and Danielle Clode for their work in sharing this piece of history.

    Cheryl Davidson Moore

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