The Whale Called Killer
The True Story of Killer Whales and their Remarkable Partnership with the Whalers of Twofold Bay
Allen & Unwin
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.