Luna Hit by Tugboat Propeller
Shortly after gaining an endangered status with other orcas living around the Puget Sound, Luna the whale was killed by the propellers of a tugboat in March. He was famous for interacting with boats and local people when he first became lost in Canada's Nootka Sound five years ago, and that never changed. Believing he held the spirit of their former chief, members of the local Mowachaht/Muchalaht tribe bonded with the whale (AWI Quarterly, winter 2005). Luna, who was known to play on boat wakes, swam under a tugboat and collided with a propeller powered by a 1,700 horsepower engine. However, this was not his first boat strike. In 2003, the whale was hit by a smaller propeller—but fortunately, he survived. This led to increased efforts to protect Luna, but in the end, he could not be saved.