Excerpts from Orcapedia published with permission — to buy the book AND support the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society visit: https://bookpubco.com/content/orcapedia Skaana’s interview with Paul Watson about Orcapedia is coming soon to www.skaana.org. And here’s our conversation with him from before the world shut down.

Miracle’s story from Orcapedia (by Paul Watson & Tiffany Humphrey)

mark leiren-young
Published in
2 min readMay 27, 2021


A two-year-old lone female Orca was spotted on the east coast of Vancouver Island in the summer of 1977. Bill Davis, a fisherman, befriended Miracle and fed her fish out of his hand, something that had never been done before in the wild. Sealand of the Pacific obtained a permit to capture the Southern Resident whale for their aquarium.

When Miracle was captured she had propeller wounds, a bullet wound, and several parasites covering her body.

After arriving in Victoria, she sank to the bottom of her pool and was presumed dead. Miracle however made several rebounds, hence her name.

She remained at Sealand with a male Orca named Haida until 1982. In January 1982, Miracle was found dead between the two containment sections of her pool. Her death was speculated to have been the cause of drowning after being caught in the netting.

Captain Paul Watson investigated the death of Miracle at the time and found that there was evidence of a deliberate attempt to cut the net, but cutting was incomplete, which may have been caused by the arrival of a security guard.

There was one suspect, but inconclusive evidence. She was in captivity from 1977 to 1982 and died at the age of seven.

Miracle Being Moved to a Sea Pen



mark leiren-young
Editor for

Whale writer. Author: The Killer Whale Who Changed the World & Orcas Everywhere. Director: The Hundred-Year-Old Whale. Host: Skaana podcast.