The remarkable story of the killer whales of Eden -- their skills, intelligence and their surprisingly cooperative behaviour and relationship with the nineteenth century whalers.
'The whale men regard these creatures as important allies...The killers show no fear of the boats but will attack the whale at the same time and if the boat is stove, which often happens, they will not hurt the men when in the water...The Australian natives of Twofold Bay say the killers are the spirits of their own people and when they see them they...point out particular individuals they have known.' Oswald Brierly, 3 August 1861
For a century, the killer whales of Twofold Bay herded baleen whales towards the harpoons of local whalers, helping them hunt and sharing the rewards. It was a life of industry, adventure and a strange and unique partnership between whale and man.
As fewer baleen whales frequented the Australian east coast, the killer whales and the whaling industry they supported slowly disappeared. The body of the last killer whale, Old Tom, was retrieved in 1930-marking the end of an era in Australian history.
In Killers in Eden Danielle Clode explores how this relationship between whaler and killer whale developed. Using our modern knowledge of killer whales to untangle fact from myth, Danielle uncovers the truly remarkable history of the killers in Eden. n Aboriginal Australians and the killer whales (which formed the basis for the later whaling industry) has parallels in indigenous cultures across Europe and America.
Danielle Clode Dphil has a degree in politics and psychology, specialising in animal behaviour. After a stint as a zookeeper at Adelaide Zoo, she took up a Rhodes Scholarship and completed her doctorate in zoology. She continues her zoological research as an associate at the University of Melbourne while working as a science writer. She lives on the outskirts of Melbourne with her husband and two daughters.