TV one-hour documentary, broadcast on the CBC's The Nature of Things, 2016
One day in Quebec, a baby beluga whale washes up on a gravel beach along the St. Lawrence River. Unexpectedly, she is vigorously alive. A scientific team decides to take unusual steps to try to save her.
The story of this baby whale leads us on a larger journey through the amazing world of the endangered St. Lawrence beluga whales and the scientists who have worked for decades against long odds to help them. Like the story of the baby beluga, it is a tough trip in a beautiful place, a true tale of drama, uncertainty, camaraderie, hard work, achievement, perseverance, and love, brightened by a glimpse of hope.
CALL OF THE BABY BELUGA follows a remnant community of beluga whales from their appearance in the St. Lawrence after ice age glaciers retreat, through grim days of whaling and the whales’ unexpectedly close relationship to the grandest industrial enterprise in human history. The story leads us to a time – equally unpredictable – in which the human relationship toward them changed from killing to love.
The film chronicles what happened when humans learned about the intricate social lives and customs of these whales and started to use their new knowledge and empathy to help them. And as the story circles back to tell us how this knowledge and dedication are used to try to save that baby beluga, we will understand what this story means to the whole hum of life in this world, whose fate now rests entirely in our hands.
Visit the CBC website to watch the film (available only in Canada):