Orca News 2007

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Above; a (probable) R-Pod mother with her calf, 2006. Copyrighted to Orcasforever/Tsitika!

Welcome to 2007! This news page (which, I will admit, is late getting up), is home to all sorts of stuff. Birthdays, births, deaths, names, and other miscellaneous news in the orca world, captive and wild! Enjoy!


November 10 - Congratulations J-Pod!

Happy news from the Southern Residents! Samish (J14) has been seen with a brand new baby! This is Samish's 5th calf. Her first calf died at a young age, but her three subsequent calves, Riptide, Hy'Shqa and Suttles, are all healthy youngsters. This new baby, J43, brings the population to 88. Congrats Samish!


October 19 - RIP Taku

More sad news from the captive orca world. Tragically, the teenage male Taku has passed away at Seaworld San Antonio in Texas. Taku was just over 14 years old. He was born in 1993 in Florida, to Katina. His father was Tilikum. Taku had been very sick the year before, prior to moving to Texas, and it is believed he developed an infection which caused his death. Taku was just maturing into a bull. RIP Taku!

Above photo of Taku in Florida copyrighted to Nicole Jardine. Do not take without permission!


September 20 - RIP Asuka

I'm very sad to report that Asuka, the only orca living at Izo-Mito Sea Paradise, has died. One of the Taiji 5, 5 whales captured in 1997, Asuka had lived alone since the death of her companion, Yamato, in 2000. She was only around 17 years old. A necropsy showed nothing, so her cause of death is still unknown. Asuka was a gorgeous young whale, and her loss is felt deeply. RIP beautiful.


September 15 - L108 is now named Coho!

L108, Ino(L54)'s youngest calf, has now been named Coho! L108 was born last spring and is Ino's second calf after son Indigo. The name Coho was chosen by members' votes. This is a sign that Coho has survived its perilous first year. Congratulations Coho!

Above; Coho in 2006, copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT use without permission!


August 26 - Update on Fuel Spill

A few days after the spill, the diesel fuel has happily dissipated from the Strait. Thankfully it seems it did not set into the shore either! Sadly, 3 birds were seen that died from the fuel. Over 50 whales were exposed to the fuel, some over a period of a few days, and it will take up to a year to find out what kind of effect this will have on their health. The A30 pod in particular went through the thickest part of the spill many times, and were hit the hardest. The I15 and I33 families also spent a lot of time in the spill, while the rest of the A-pod whales were all exposed at least once. The Mackay family are trying to raise money to find out what can be done about the equipment that is still lying at the bottom of the reserve.

Above photo of Klaoitsis, Clio & Pointer copyrighted to Trish. DO NOT take without permission!


August 20 - Oil Threatens Northern Residents

I am appalled to say that a rapidly-growing oil slick is threatening the Northern Residents population. A barge tipped over in Johnstone Strait today, leaving a 2-km long, 200-km wide oil slick that is growing alarmingly. It's right in front of the Rubbing Beaches and most of the Northern Resident population is in that area (about 60 whales are nearby). In fact, the I33s and I15s were right in the area when it happened, although I'm happy to say they've moved away now. The A12s are also quite close to the area, and other A and G Clan pods have been hanging out around there for the past few weeks. The barge owner has hired a company to clean it up, but they expect the equipment to take a while to get there. BC Parks, Environment Canada & Vanaqua are on the scene. Apparently the slick is around 8 km long at the last estimate. Horrifyingly, as I type this, the A30 matriline is at the rubbing beaches foraging. Swimming through the oil or ingesting fish coated in oil could be very damaging to their health.

Above photo of R-Clan whales copyrighted to Kim D. DO NOT use without permission!


August 19 - Congratulations L-Pod!

A new calf has arrived for the Southern Residents, bringing the vulnerable population up to 87! The calf, L110, was first seen mid-August, and confirmed on August 19. The mom is Moonlight/L83, a 17-year-old female. This is Moonlight's first calf! The calf joins a close-knit family consisting of aunt Muncher, grandmother Marina and great-grandmother Ankh. Good luck to L110!

Above photo of Moonlight & L110 copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT USE without permission!


August 8 - Anniversary of Lolita's Capture

Lolita, also known as Tokitae, is the only orca at Miami SeaQuarium, and also the only surviving Southern Resident in captivity. Today is the anniversary of her capture, back in 1970. Lolita has now been in captivity for 37 years and has unfortunately been alone for 27 years. Lolita is now around 43 years. May she have many more!


August 8 - Happy Birthday Athena!

Athena, the youngest orca at Marineland Canada, turns 3 today! Athena was born in 2004 to Kiska; she is the only calf born at Marineland who survives today. Athena lives with Ikaika, a young male from SeaWorld Florida; her mother and 'aunt' Nootka 5 are in the next pool. They will hopefully be reunited soon! Happy birthday little girl!

Above photo of Athena copyrighted to Tsitika/Orcasforever. Do not take without permission.


July 28 - NEW ID CATALOGUE!

I am absolutely THRILLED to say that a new Northern Residents ID catalogue has finally appeared, after 8 years of waiting! The catalogue is online, at this site. There are many births and a few deaths that I've missed, and I will be updating accordingly! It says it will be published in fall 2007, but this may not be true, as someone who worked on it has said it won't be published in book format.

Above photo of W-Pod copyrighted to Tsitika/Orcasforever. Do not take without permission!


July 27 - Happy Birthday Moonlight!

Moonlight/L83 is another one of those rare whales that was seen on the day she was born. Moonlight turns 17 years old today! She was Marina's first calf and is part of a tight-knit family including her younger sister Muncher, and grandmother Ankh. Soon she should be having calves of her own. Happy birthday, Moonlight!


July 24 - RIP Domino

I am very sad to say that Domino/L104 seems to have died, either over the winter or early this summer. Domino was orphaned at the young age of 2 last year, when mom Jelly Roll passed away. His sister Racer took him in, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to have saved the little guy. Domino was reported missing this month. RIP little one!

Above; Domino breaches near his mother. Copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research, DO NOT use without permission!


July 16 - Happy Birthday Klaoitsis!

Klaoitsis/A84 of the A1-Pod was first seen around this time in 2005, making him/her 2 years old! Klaoitsis is the second calf of Clio in the A30 matriline, joining older sibling Bend. Klaoitsis is certainly not lacking in playmates, as cousins Cedar and A86 are only a few years away from 2005 themselves. Rounding out the family is Tsitika, Blackney, Pointer and Blinkhorn. Happy birthday, little one!


July 13 - Happy Birthday Dusky!

Going back to the Northerns, Dusky/A83 was first seen around today in 2005, making the little calf 2 years old! Dusky is mom Misty's first calf, and Simoom's first grandchild. Dusky and mom travel with Simoom and her other children, Echo, Eclipse and Hope. They are sometimes joined by great-grandmother Scimitar and great-uncle Nimpkish. Happy birthday, Dusky!

Above photo of Dusky provided by Paul Tixier. DO NOT use without permission!


July 11 - Happy Birthday Kasatka!

No, not that Kasatka. Kasatka/L82 of the Southern Residents was born on this day, in 1990! She is now 17 years old. Kasatka is one of the rare wild babies who was actually seen on her day of birth (she was born in Dyes Inlet). She travels with mom Nugget, siblings Lapis and L109, cousin Pooka and aunts Ophelia and Surprise. Soon we will hopefully be seeing Kasatka with a calf of her own!


July 11 - Happy Birthday Gypsy!

Gypsy/D19 of the Northern Residents was first spotted today back in 1998, making Gypsy now 9 years old! Gypsy's mother is Cascade, much to researchers' surprise - before the calf, they had thought Cascade was a male! Gypsy's gender is so far unknown. Cascade recently had another calf, D23, in 2005, giving Gypsy a sibling. The family also travels with Gypsy's aunts Takush and Winchester, and cousins Hakai, Whiskey, and Geetla. Happy birthday!


July 11 - Happy Birthday Taima!

Another SeaWorld Florida birthday today. Taima at the park turns 18 years old today! Taima was born at the park and hasn't left since. She doesn't get along with the other whales, save for Tilikum and more recently, Takara. Taima just had a baby a few months ago, and is taking good care of little Malia. Happy birthday, Taima!

Above photo copyrighted to Jessica Tietzbauer. DO NOT use without permission!


July 9 - Happy Birthday Takara!

Today is a captive birthday! Takara, a captive-born whale currently living in Florida, turns 16 today! Takara was born at SeaWorld California, to Kasatka, the matriarch there. She was moved to Florida 13 years later. Takara is the mother of two: Kohana, in Spain, and little Trua, who is with her in Florida. She currently lives with Katina, Nalani, Tilikum, Kalina, Kayla, Taima and Malia. She is the only whale besides Tilikum who spends time with Malia. Happy birthday, beautiful!

Above photo of Takara copyrighted to Laurie Neron. DO NOT use without permission!


July 8 - Taima's Baby Named Malia

Taima's calf, born in March this year, now has a name of her own! The baby has been named Malia, which means calm - it seems an odd name for such an energetic calf!


July 1 - Happy Birthday Eclipse!

Today was the first day Eclipse/J41 was seen back in 2005. Eclipse now turns 2 years old! She has thankfully survived her perilous first two years. Everyone was delighted to see her mom Shachi with a new baby; Shachi had her last calf in 1993 and it sadly did not survive. Eclipse at first seemed to be too small, but she soon grew up and now can be found popping up by her mother's side. Shachi and Eclipse also travel with aunt Blossom and her children, Blackberry, Tsuchi and Mako. Happy birthday, little girl!

Above; Eclipse with her mother, copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT use without permission!


July - Happy Birthday Springer!

That's right, it's the birthday of the whale celebrity this month! Springer/A73, the little orphan whale, was made famous back in 2002, when she became the first orca successfully reunited with her pod by humans. Springer was born to Sutlej,a member of the northern resident community who sadly died before she turned a year old. But the reintroduction was a success, and Springer now happily swims with her great-aunt Yakat, Skeena, Nahwitti, and the newborn A87. This month, the playful little girl turns 7 years old! Happy birthday Springer!

Above photo of Springer scanned from "People, Fish and Whales".


June 22 - Happy Birthday Tuar!

Tuar, a young orca at SeaWorld Texas, turns 8 years old today! Tuar is a second-generation captive-born whale, born to the first baby Shamu, Kalina. He currently lives in Texas with Halyn, Unna, and 3 large sprouting males, Ky, Keet and Taku. In a few years, Tuar himself will start to mature and catch up to them. Happy birthday, Tuar!


June 17 - Happy Birthday Keto!

Keto at Loro Parque turns 12 today! Born in 1995 to Kalina, the original "Baby Shamu", Keto was moved a few years ago to the park in Spain. He now lives there with half-siblings Tekoa, Kohana and Skyla. He's reaching maturity and is growing at a remarkable rate! Happy birthday, big boy!

Above; Keto, copyrighted to Nicole Jardine. Don't take without permission!


June 15 - Nugget confirmed as L109's mother!

The Center for Whale Research confirmed today that L109, the newborn in L-Pod from March, is indeed Nugget/L55's calf. They confirmed this as mother and calf were seen recently in the San Juans, as L-Pod trickles back in from winter. L109 is Nugget's fourth calf, and her third surviving. Congratulations, Nugget!

Above; L109 with mom Nugget, copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT TAKE without permission!


June 10 - RIP Pascuala...

Heartbreakingly, Pascuala, the newborn orca rescued two months ago in Mexico, has died of an immune system failure. The little girl was found on a beach 2 months ago, only a few days old. She was rescued and brought to a dolphin park in Mexico, and so began a long struggle. Although park officials wanted to move her to SeaWorld California, with other orcas and better facilities, environmental groups and the government opposed this action and she had to stay in the dolphin park. Pascuala seemed to be improving, but sadly she developed an infection and lost her battle of survival. Some contend that she may have had a better chance at survival, had she moved to SeaWorld, but unfortunately we will now never know. Rest in peace, little one.


June 4 - Happy Birthday, Lapis!

Another southern! Lapis/L103 was first seen today 4 years ago. Lapis was found to be female at quite a young age. She travels with mom Nugget, sister Kasatka, aunts Ophelia and Surprise, and cousin Pooka. Lapis has two young playmates around her age, cousin Pooka and newcomer L109. Happy birthday, little girl!

Above; Lapis copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT take without permission!


June 3 - Happy Birthday Deadhead!

Deadhead/K27, she of the funny name, was first seen today 13 years ago. Deadhead is a member of one of the largest families in the southern residents. She travels with siblings Spock, Scoter, and Cali, Spock's calf Comet, mother Skagit, grandmother Georgia, and great-grandmother Lummi! Deadhead is now at the age when many young whales have their first calf, so perhaps when K-Pod finally comes back from winter, she'll have her own little one to show off!


June 1 - Happy Birthday Wikie!

Wikie, a young female who lives at Marineland France, turns 6 today! Wikie is the youngest whale at the park, and mother Sharkan's youngest calf. She lives there with her mother, her older brother Inouk, and Freya and Valentin. Happy birthday little girl!

Above; Wikie a few years ago, copyrighted to Stefan Jacobs.


June - Happy Birthday Magin!

Amazingly, a Northern birthday this month. Magin/A71 was first seen this month in 1999, and turns 8 this year. Magin's gender is still unknown, and he/she is one of Kelsey's 3 surviving calves. Magin travels with mom Kelsey, sister Schooner, and younger sibling Toba. In a few years, we will at last find out his/her gender!

Above; Magin in 2006 copyrighted to Paul Tixier. DO NOT TAKE without permission!


May 20 - Happy Birthday Muncher & Crewser!

Two Southern 'birthdays' today! Both Muncher/L91 and Crewser/L92 were first seen today, back in 1995! Happily both young whales are still going strong today and beginning to mature into adulthood. Muncher is a young female who travels with grandmother Ankh, mother Marina, and older sister Moonlight. She's approaching the age of motherhood and may soon be bringing her own calf past the shores of the San Juan. Crewser is a male, who was sadly orphaned at age 7. He now travels with grandmother Baba and aunt Ballena, and is beginning to sprout.

Above; Crewser in 2007, copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT TAKE without permission!


May 14 - Happy Birthday Sumar!

Sumar, a young male living at SeaWorld San Diego, turns 9 years old today! Sumar was born back in 1998 to Taima at SeaWorld Florida, but unfortunately his young and inexperienced mother was aggressive towards him. He was moved at a young age to California, where he has since stayed. Despite rumours of a move, Sumar can currently still be found alongside Corky, Kasatka, Orkid, Kalia, Ulises and Nakai.

Above, Sumar, copyrighted to Nicole Jardine. DO NOT take without permission!


May 7 - J42 is (probably) female!

Only a few days after the little one was first spotted, researchers believe they know the gender of J-Pod's newest calf! J42, Slick's newest calf, appears to be a female! Photos taken on May 6 show the distinctive female markings around her genital area. Although these occasionally are misleading, they usually prove to be true. If so, this makes J42 Slick's first known daughter!

Above; J42 with her very unique saddle, next to mom Slick. Copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research, DO NOT use without permission!


May 7 - Northern Babies!

Great (if a little late) news from the northern community! Koeye/C10 had a baby way back in 2004. There was confusion over who the mother was, but they sorted it out in 2006. The little one is now designated C26. Koeye has four older children (Fifer, Cosmos, Gikumi and Fin) and has never lost a calf. And in D-Pod, Cascade/D13 had her second calf in 2005, D23. Cascade has an older calf, Gypsy, who surprised everyone as researchers thought Cascade was a male!


May 6 - Happy Birthday Pooka!

Pooka/L106 was first seen 2 years ago. This little male is the first calf of Surprise/L86 and seems to be doing very well! He has been seen in 2007 and is happily still healthy and tucked alongside mom. Pooka travels with his mom, his aunts Nugget and Ophelia, and cousins Kasatka, Lapis, and L109.

Above; Pooka as a newborn, copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT take without permission!


May 3 - Happy Birthday Kohana!

Kohana, a young female living at Loro Parque, turns 5 years old today! Kohana is a playful, energetic whale who lives at Loro Parque with 3 other young whales, Keto, Tekoa and Skyla. She was Takara's first calf, and the second whale born through AI. Happy birthday, Kohana!

Above image of Kohana at SeaWorld copyrighted to Nicole, DO NOT use without permission!


May 2 - New Calf for J-Pod! Congratulations, Slick!

Great news from the Southern community! A brand new baby has been spotted among J-Pod today! The Center for Whale Research photographed the little one as J-Pod passed through. The calf, designated J42, seems to have an open saddle (unusual to see at such a young age) and was born between April 28 and May 2. J42 is Slick/J16's fourth calf. Her older calves are Mike/J26, Keet/J33 and Alki/J36. Congratulations J-Pod! This brings the southern community up to 87!

Above photo of J42 with Slick copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT use without permission!


May - Happy Birthday Tika & Lobo!

Southern birthdays! Lobo/K26 was first seen this month way back in 1993, making this growing boy 14 years old! Lobo was his mother's first calf to survive into maturity, and he is now sprouting into a beautiful bull. He travels with his mother, Lea, and his younger sibling Yoda. Also in K-Pod, Tika/K33 turns 6 years old this month! Tika's family has suffered many losses in recent years (including his younger sibling K41), and it's great that this young male is still lively and well. He travels with mom Sekiu, grandmother Sequim, and uncle Rainshadow. Happy birthday, boys!


April 16- Happy Birthday L108!

Well, all right, this is a bit late. L108, Ino/L54's youngest calf, was first seen April 5 2006. Researchers haven't confirmed yet that L108 has made it through winter, so our fingers are crossed. Once the little one is spotted, we'll know it's over a year old! So hopefully happy birthday, little one!

Above photo copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT take without permission!


April 14-Pascuala Improves; Denied Entry to the USA

Pascuala, the newborn orca who stranded a few days ago in Mexico, has gained 11 pounds since being rescued! Though her mobility is still limited, her skin also seems to be improving. It's very good news that she is eating and gaining weight. Unfortunately, although arrangements were made for her to move to San Diego today, environmentalists opposed the move and it has been cancelled. It's still possible she will be moved there. Many people believe the little one with be better off in California, where they have a better equipped facility and motherly orcas to care for her. Time will tell.


April 12-Baby Orca Strands in Mexico

A newborn orca has stranded in San Blas, Mexico. The little girl, named Pascuala, is only a few weeks old. She was moved to a nearby dolphin park, unable to swim on her own, dehydrated, and sunburnt. Experts have suggested she was separated from her mother because of very strong currents which swept through the area. A search for her mother was launched, but when they found no orcas in the area, it was decided her condition was too serious to leave her on the beach. SeaWorld San Diego has sent specialists over to assist in the baby's care, as Mexico has no experience with baby orcas. It has been suggested that Pascuala be moved to San Diego, where there is a pod, mother figures, and better health care, but nothing is confirmed. Good luck, little girl!


April 3- Happy Birthday Mako!

Happy birthday to Mako (J39) today! This little guy is turning 4 years old. He and his family were spotted last month looking healthy and happy. Mako travels with his mom Blossum, and big siblings Blackberry and Tsuchi. Hopefully he will be able to survive the mounting threats against the southerns, and grow to be a big beautiful bull. Happy birthday, Mako!

Above photo of newborn Mako copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT TAKE without permission!


April- Southern Residents Spotted All Over the Place

Over the last month, the Southerns have been all over the map. The Ks and Ls keep showing up in California, while J-Pod seems to be filtering back around the San Juans. This has enabled researchers to see who made it through the winter. Spock (K20) with her 3-year-old Comet (K38) were seen in January, and the sightings piled up after that. In February, J-Pod was seen around the northern resident area, confirming that all members of J-Pod have survived winter, including golden oldies Granny and Ruffles! J-Pod showed up twice more in March, and back in the San Juans in April. Faith (L57) was seen with family off California in March, then later that same month, the Ks and Ls were seen again with L109 (see below).

Above photo of playful Granny (J2) copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT TAKE without permission!


March 25-Congratulations L-Pod! Population at 86!

Great news from the southerns! L-Pod has a new addition, bringing the endangered southern resident population up to 86 members! The newest calf, designated L109, was spotted when L-Pod showed up (with K-Pod) in Monterey, California. The calf was born between October and March, and was seen travelling near both Nugget (L55) and her daughter Kasatka (L82). We're not sure yet who the real mother is, as southerns tend to pass the babies from family member to family member. Nugget has another daughter, Lapis, born in 2003. If the calf is Kasatka's, it will be her first! Congratulations, L-Pod!

Above photo copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research and Nancy Black. DO NOT TAKE without permission!


March 12- Congratulations Taima!

Great news from SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida! Taima, an 18-year-old captive-born orca, has given birth to her third calf! The little one was born tail-first. Taima wasn't assisted by another whale as she doesn't really get along with them, but she did everything right and has proven protective and attentive to the baby. Although she was aggressive to her older sons, hopes are high for this new baby. The calf was around 6 ft long and weighed about 350 pounds as a newborn, and has been introduced to male Tilikum. Good luck, little one!


February 14- Happy Birthday Valentin!

The first of many French orca birthdays in February today...Valentin, the only surviving son of Freya, turns 11! Valentin is Freya's only successful calf and the two of them are quite close. They live at Marineland Antibes, France, along with Valentin's younger half-siblings Wikie and Inouk, and co-matriarch Sharkan. Valentin is the oldest male at the park. Soon he will start to sprout and grow into a mature bull. Happy birthday, big guy!

Above photo of Valentin (from a few years ago) copyrighted to Stefan Jacobs. DO NOT take without permission!


February 9-Happy Birthday Skyla!

On a happier note today, Skyla, baby of Loro Parque, turns 3! Skyla was born in 2004 to Kalina, the first captive-born orca to survive. She lived the first year of her life at SeaWorld Florida, before moving at an absurdly young age to Loro Parque, where she now lives with half-brothers Keto and Tekoa, and best friend Kohana. Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Above photo of Skyla (front) with Tekoa, Kohana and Keto, copyrighted to Sherie Hurdle. DO NOT take without permission!


February 9-10th Anniversary of the Taiji Capture

Today is the sad anniversary of the last 'successful' orca capture. In 1997, 10 orcas were captured in Taiji Japan, and five of them were sent to aquaria. Today only two remain. Ku, who lives alone at the Nagoya Port Aquarium, has now been in captivity for 10 years and is around 15 years old. There are plans to move her in the next few years to China, where she will be with other whales. Meanwhile Asuka, around 17 years old, now lives at Izu-Mito Sea Paradise, where she has lived alone since the death of her companion Yamato a few years ago. Let's hope these beautiful girls remain with us for many years to come!

Above photo of Ku provided by Caio Ribeiro and copyrighted to him. Do not take without permission!


February 8-Happy Birthday Lara!

February is a busy month for captive whales! Today marks the sixth birthday of Lara, daughter of Stella and Bingo at Kamogawa Sea World, Japan. Lara is the second successful captive birth in Japan, after her big sister Lovey. This young girl lives with her mom, dad, sisters Lovey and Ran, and another male named Oscar. Let's hope for many more for this growing girl! Happy birthday Lara!


February 2-Happy Birthday Keet!

Captive birthday today- Keet, a maturing male at SeaWorld Texas, turns 14! Keet was born in 1993, to Kalina. He was the first 2nd generation captive-born whale. He's been bounced from park to park, but is currently settled in Texas with Unna, Kyuquot, Tuar, Taku and Halyn. Happy birthday, big guy!

Above photo of Keet in Texas copyrighted to Nicole Jardine. Do not take without permission!


February- Happy Birthday Surf!

A birthday in the Northern Residents this month! Surf (A66), a young male in A5-Pod, turns 10 this month. Surf is big brother to little Current, and can usually be found next to mom Sonora and aunt Havannah. He'll start sprouting in a few years, and soon A5 pod will be able to boast another magnificent male. Happy birthday, Surf!


January 25-Southern Residents Head to San Francisco

The Southern Residents showed up unexpectedly in San Francisco yesterday! The group of residents, who usually reside around Puget Sound Washington, included at least K-Pod, and possibly some L-Pod whales. Photographs show Spock/K20 with her 3-year-old calf Comet/K38. This is either worrying or good news, depending on how you look at it. The fact that the residents have to go that far to find food is a bad sign, combined with the probable starvation of some young whales this past summer. However, if there are good fish stocks down there and they've found them, hopefully they'll have enough food for winter! We'll have to wait until they return to Puget Sound to see how they've fared.

Above photo of Comet, coming up behind Spock's fin, copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT use without permission!


January 19-Katina's Calf Named!

Well, this is a bit late, but Katina's 2006 calf has been named! The little girl is now named Nalanie, which is Hawaiian for "heaven-sent". Nalanie was born last September at Seaworld Florida to the matriarch, Katina. The baby has lots of "aunties" to look after her, as she's surrounded by big sister Kalina, 'aunt' Kayla, and Takara and baby Trua.


January 16-I Have Good News & Bad News (Northerns)

First, the good news. Quadra/C21's calf, who was a newborn at the time of Quadra's death, seems to be making it! Quadra died shortly after giving birth to the little one, and its chances didn't look promising. However, grandma Lama seems to have stepped in to care for the calf, and it seems to have survived! The recent incidents of orphans (Canoona/A82?) are worrying to say the least.
On a sadder note, it looks like Christie/D11's calf D22 didn't make it. The baby wasn't named, and apparently hasn't been seen this year. There's a possibility it was just missed, though, so let's keep our fingers crossed.


January 16-New Names for Northern Calves!

Good news from the Northern Residents, with names for 5 calves announced by the Killer Whale Adoption Program. Getting a name from the program means the calf has survived its first 2 years, the most dangerous time for a baby whale. Happily, two 2004 babies and 3 2005 calves have all made it. Misty/A62's proven herself as a first-time mom with baby A83, who has been named Dusky. Also in A1-Pod, Clio/A50's 2005 calf, A84, has been named Klaoitsis. Over in C-Pod, Lama/C8's calf of 2004, C25, wasn't named last year because the family wasn't reliably documented. Thankfully, the little one was seen and confirmed at last, and has been named Ta-aack. D-Pod had the same situation with their baby of 2004, Fisher/D17's first calf D21. This baby was also seen at last, and named Shearwater. And finally, Goletas has a 2-year-old of her own, after no children for almost 10 years. I108 of 2005 has been named Tatnall.

Above photo of Klaoitsis, mom Clio & uncle Pointer copyrighted. Do not use without permission.


January 11-Happy Birthday, Lovey!

The first captive birthday of the year, today marked the 9th birthday of Kamogawa Sea World's Lovey. Lovey was the first successful orca birth in a Japanese aquarium, and she has continued to thrive since then. This beautiful whale can be found helping mom Stella out with baby sister Ran, playing with sister Lara, or goofing around with pal Oscar. Happy birthday, Lovey!


January 10-Happy Birthday, Hy'Shqa!

Another Southern Resident birthday today. Hy'Shqa/J37 turns 6 years old today; this little girl is mom Samish's 3rd calf. She is watched closely by mom and big brother Riptide, and has a energetic playmate in little sister Suttles. Happy birthday, Hy'Shqa!

Above photo of Hy'Shqa copyrighted to the Center of Whale Research. DO NOT take without permission!


January 8-New Calf in the Northern Residents!

Well this year is certainly starting off right! In a surprising update, Yakat/A11 has been seen with a new calf! Why is this so surprising? Well, it's just the fact that Yakat is over 40 (in fact, she's estimated to be 49!) and hasn't had a baby in 17 years! The little one was spotted yesterday tucked next to mom and flanked by older brother Skeena, older sister Nahwitti, and of course the famous Springer, all of whom look healthy and well-off! Congratulations to the A11 family!

Above photo of Yakat (front) with her 30 year old son Skeena, copyrighted to Orcasforever. Do NOT take without permission!


January 2-Happy Birthday, Tsuchi & Riptide!

Two more birthdays in the Southern Residents today! Two teenagers from the endangered population were first seen today. Tsuchi/J31 is 12 years old! Tsuchi is a member of a healthy, thriving family, and can usually be seen near mom Blossum and brothers Blackberry and Mako. She's reaching the age of maturity, and might soon have a calf of her own to handle! Meanwhile, Riptide/J30 is also maturing. Riptide is in the middle of sprouting, which means his fin is growing at a quick rate; who knows, by adulthood, his fin could rival great-uncle Ruffles.

Above photo of Tsuchi copyrighted to the Center for Whale Research. DO NOT take without permission!


January-Happy Birthday Rainshadow, Polaris & Keet!

Three birthdays in the Southern Residents to start the year off! First off we have Rainshadow/K37, a young calf in K-Pod of unknown gender. Rainshadow turns 3 this month! The little whale is still mom Sequim's baby, staying tucked next to her (except when the calf dashes off to play!). Polaris/J28 is 14 this year, which means she's maturing into a lovely adult. Polaris is quite close to her mom Princess Angeline, and helped raise her younger sister Tahlequah. Hopefully we'll see her with her own calf soon! Keet/J33, meanwhile, is turning 11, and starting to sprout. This young male's fin is showing signs of maturity, but he hasn't quite caught up to big brother Mike!

Above photo of Rainshadow scanned from the Center for Whale Research's Baby Page. 1