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The 1993 film Free Willy sparked an interest in conservation efforts among the mainstream public.They determine the distance of an objet or prey by emitting sound waves and listening to variations in the time it takes for the sounds to echo back.Female orca whales give birth after about 16 - 17 months of pregnancy and can produce a calf every 3 - 10 years.Each pod has its own unique noise that allows the orcas to communicate and recognize each other.


Orca whales are extremely social creatures and some pods may travel hundreds of miles to hunt, play, mate and give birth.Beginning in the 1960s, wild orcas were captured in the Pacific Northwest and sold to amusement parks such as Marine Land, and later, Sea World.The act made it illegal to capture wild orcas without a special permit.Despite conservation efforts like this, orcas continued to be taken from water arctic waters near Iceland for several decades.


In the 1970s a growing movement of environmentalists pressured the government to protect marine mammals because many of the captive killer whales died due to stress and negligence.

In 197s the US congress passed the US Marine Mammal Protection Act.


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