Date(s) - 31/10/2015 - 01/11/2015
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Uniting Church Hall, Eden
Watch the ABC documentary Killers in Eden, which turns 10 this year and is no longer in circulation. Hear eye witness accounts, see special effects and learn the extraordinary story of the contract between man and killer whale, one of nature’s most powerful and intelligent creatures. Enjoy a local produce supper afterwards. The grounds of the hall are home to a bountiful produce garden so take a stroll before the show starts.
Excerpt: “For thousands of years, killer whales have hunted the great baleen whales in every ocean on earth, yet only in one place have they ever co-operated with humans to hunt whales, and then largely only with one family, the Davidsons. “Killers in Eden” is the extraordinary story of the contract between man and one of nature’s most powerful and intelligent creatures.
Each year for more than a century on Australia’s far south east coast, autumn moved into winter and the killer whales would return to Eden from the Antarctic and lie in wait. Their prey were the baleen whales journeying to and from their breeding grounds hundreds of kilometers up the coast. Three generations of the Davidson family worked with the killer whales, often invited by the killers and led out to sea to join in the hunts. A few members of the pod of orcas would swim right into the mouth of the kiah river where the Davidsons had their two isolated houses on the opposite side of the bay from the township of Eden. They would then breach or thrash their tails on the water surface untill the whalers emerged and rowed their boats out to meet them. The Davidsons called this behaviour “flop-tailing”. No other Eden whalers were ever visited in this manner. On cloudy moonless nights, the Davidson crews would follow the glowing bioluminescent trails of the orcas which would light up the sea.
When the whale was dead, the Davidsons would simply row home after tying an anchor and small buoy to it, leaving first spoils to the killers. Just like orcas elsewhere in the world, the Eden killers only ate the tongue and lips and discarded the rest.
After a few days the whale would float to the surface and the Eden whalers would row out and tow the remains for “trying out” at their tiny whaling station on the banks of the Kiah river in Twofold bay. The whalers called this arrangement “the law of the tongue” and as a result, far less of the whale was wasted than if the Orcas had hunted alone.”
More information: Killers in Eden website