GETTING CURIOUS | Are Killer Whales Misunderstood? with Dr. Deborah Giles


Southern Resident killer whales are a lot like us. They have family meals, chat in different dialects, and sleep side by side. They even engage in an activity called sword fighting—which is exactly what it sounds like. One major difference? There are only 75 of these orcas alive today. This week, we’re learning all about this remarkable endangered population, what they’re really up to when they ram into boats, and what it’ll take to protect them.

Dr. Deborah Giles is one of the world’s leading experts on the Southern Resident killer whales. Giles serves as the Research Director for Wild Orca, monitoring the Southern Resident killer whales’ health through non-invasive sampling with Eba, her highly-trained scent detection dog. She is one of the principal voices calling for the recovery of these endangered orcas.

You can follow Wild Orca on Instagram @wildorcaorg and Twitter @wildorcaorg. Eba the dog is on Instagram @eba_the_whale_dog. For more information, check out

Check out the orca chart that Dr. Giles references in the episode here.

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Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our producer is Chris McClure. Our associate producer is Allison Weiss. Our engineer is Nathanael McClure. Production support from Julie Carrillo, Samantha Martinez, and Anne Currie.

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