New York Times article on human/whale relationships

Baby Love

Baby Love

This week New York Times features and article ostensibly about our relationship with whales, woven around a visit by the author to the “friendly whales” of San Ignacio Lagoon.

The article (requiring a free NYT login) is here:

It also features some OCR colleagues, friends and allies such as Ranulfo Mayoral, a fantastic birder and the brother of Pancho Mayoral, the lagoon guide for our annual whale trip to Baja. NRDC Biologist Elizabeth Alter, Sperm whale expert Hal Whitehead, and San Ignacio Lagoon project partner Aaron Thode are also featured.

(see: )

The article is a longish but informative read. It speculates about why the gray whales are reaching out to humans; it discusses whales’ higher order emotional behavior and communication skills.

It also comes concurrently with an essay in Nature this week by behavioral biologist Frans de Waal[1] about “anthropodenial” – an unfounded rejection of the continuity between humans and other animals. Perhaps we are arriving at a nexus between biologists and traditional story-tellers?

If you enjoy the article and would like to visit the friendly whales, we will be heading down to San Ignacio Lagoon in March of 2010. Book early, as we can take 12, and we already have five committed.

Let me know if you want to be on the short-list by sending a request to

[1] Author of “Chimpanzee Politics” the benchmark 20 year behavioral study of the community dynamics of a captive group of chimps in the Arnhem Zoo.