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Radio Free Orca: A Broadcast for World Peace

In the 1960s, Paul Spong was a young neuroscientist at the University of British Columbia. Then, part of his job was to study orcas (or killer whales) at an aquarium. But Spong quickly understood how badly these highly sentient, intelligent creatures suffered in captivity. So he moved to a remote island six hours north of Vancouver and founded OrcaLab—a scientific outpost committed to studying orcas in the wild without disturbing them. Using hydrophones and video cameras, Spong and his team can listen to and track orcas within a 31-mile radius. Over the course of almost 50 years, Spong has learned a great deal about these wondrous ocean dwellers. It has given him a sense of inner peace. To help others understand more about orcas, OrcaLab broadcasts its audio feed live through its website. Spong’s hope is that the feed will encourage a greater appreciation for these majestic mammals, and even the possibility of world peace.


Hanson Island, Mount Waddington A, BC, Canada

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