Granny(estimated birth year 1911) is believed to be the oldest female in J, K and L pods at over 100 years! She plays an active role in the community by acting as a babysitter for many of the young calves. Granny is one of the whales in the "Free Willy" movies.
Slick(estimated birth year 1972) has four living offspring. Mike (J-26), Alki (J-36), Echo (J-42), and Scarlet (J-50). Scarlet, born in December 2014, is Slick's sixth calf. Giving birth at the estimated age of 43, Slick is the oldest female in the Southern Resident Community known to have given birth. This family group is sometimes seen travelling alone.
Shachi's first calf, J-29, lived only a few weeks. She spent much of her time babysitting young calves until July 1, 2005 when she had another calf, Eclipse (J-41). Shachi became a first time grandmother in February 2015 when Eclipse had her first offspring, Nova (J-51).
Mike is the first offspring of Slick (J-16). He was named after the late Dr. Michael Bigg, a Canadian scientist who was known as the "father of killer whale research". Mike's living siblings are, Alki (J-36), Echo (J-42) and youngest sibling, Scarlet (J-50), who was born in late December 2014.
Polaris is the first calf of Princess Angeline (J-17). She has always been a spunky whale and can often be found "in the crowd." Polaris was seen with her first known calf, Star (J-46), in November, 2009.
Eclipse is the second calf of Shachi (J-19). Eclipse was born on July 1, 2005 and there was concern because this calf was so tiny. Almost ten years later,a new calf Nova (J-51), was seen with Shachi and Eclipse in February 2015. This is Eclipse's first offspring.
Se-Yi'-Chn(pronounced "sea-ee-chin") is a Coast Salish/Samish word meaning "younger sibling" or the younger one in the family. He is the sixth offspring of Samish (J-14). His living siblings are Hy'Shqa (J-37) and Suttles (J-40). Se-Yi'-Chn was named in a traditional potlatch naming ceremony held by the Samish Nation on October 17, 2009.
Star is the first offspring of Polaris (J-28), seen for the first time passing by Lime Kiln Lighthouse on November 11, 2009. Her mother is very independent. This may give Star many opportunities to meet and play with others besides her uncle Moby (J-44) and cousin Notch (J-47).
Notch is the first offspring of Tahlequah (J-35). He has a cousin named Star (J-46) and an uncle named Moby (J-44). The three are often seen playing together. He acquired a large notch on the trailing edge of his dorsal fin before he was a year old.
Scarlet is the sixth calf of Slick (J-16). She was first seen December 30, 2014. Based on the rake marks on Scarlet's body, it appears her birth may have been assisted. Scarlet is a spunky young whale who has thrived in spite of her challenging beginning.
Nova is the first offspring of Eclipse (J-41). He has the distinction of being born to the youngest known mother in this community. At the age of just a few months, he was already having 'play dates' with Notch (J-47).
Sonic is the first offspring of Alki (J-36). In early March 2015, he was welcomed into his family group, the J16s. Sonic was the third calf born to J Pod within a three-month time period. Sonic has saddle patch markings similar to his aunt, Echo (J-42).
Opus was seen with her first calf during the winter of 2000/2001, however the calf did not survive. In late 2002 she had her second offspring, Sonata (K-35), who can most often be seen close by his mother.
For years researchers thought Spock was male because of her tall, straight dorsal fin that is typical of males. However, in December 2004 she had her first known calf, Comet (K-38), proving that she is indeed a female.
Deadhead is one of four offspring born to Skagit (K-13). She was named to honor the passing of Jerry Garcia, the leader of the rock band "The Grateful Dead." Deadhead had her first offspring, Ripple (K-44), in July, 2011.
Rainshadow is the fourth calf born to Sequim (K-12). He has a nephew named Tika (K-33) who is three years older. Sequim had her fifth calf, Saturna (K-43), first seen February 2010. Rainshadow is very attentive to his little sister Saturna.
Comet is the first calf of Spock (K-20). A comet streaks through the dark night sky just like the whale, Comet, likes to streak by, just under the surface of the water. This young whale likes to travel close to his mom.
Ophelia (estimated birth year 1965) has two younger sisters, Nugget (L-55) and Surprise! (L-86). She has outlived all four of her offspring but has the opportunity to spend time with her two sisters and their offspring.
Ino was the last of her family lineage, until she had her first calf Indigo L-100 in 2001. Sadly Indigo passed away in 2014. In the spring of 2006, Ino gave birth to her second calf Coho (L-108). In December 2010 she had her third offspring Keta (L-117).
Her name was the winning entry in a naming contest in 1983, part of a campaign to prevent the capture of orcas for public display. Partly as a result of this effort, all orcas are protected from further capture in both the U.S. and Canada.
Matia is eight years older than her sister Calypso (L-94). Matia is only the second whale of the L12 subgroup to have a calf, L-114, in the last fourteen years. Her first offspring, L-114, seen in February 2010 did not survive. On May 29, 2012, Matia was seen with a new calf, Joy (L-119).
The birth of Surprise! surprised researchers back in 1991 since there was a 14-year gap between Surprise! (L-86) and her older sister, Nugget (L-55). She has another sister named Ophelia (L-27). Surprise! has one living offspring Pooka (L-106). Her other offspring, Sooke (L-112), died in February 2012 and is now honored through an exhibit at The Whale Museum.
Wave Walker is the only living offspring of the family group the L2s. Wave Walker got his name because when researchers first saw him, he was gliding along the top of the water in his mother's slipstream.
Pooka is a creature of myth. According to legend Pooka is an adroit shape changer and most commonly takes the form of a sleek black or white horse. This Pooka is a killer whale who was born to Surprise! (L-86).
Midnight is the first known calf of Moonlight (L-83). He was first seen in midsummer in the Strait of Juan de Fuca traveling in his mother's slip stream. Midnight was only a day or two old when first spotted.
Cousteau, first seen in October 2009 near Port Townsend, has the distinction of being the first calf born to this subgroup in 14 years. Her mother Calypso (L-94) is named for Jacques Cousteau's research vessel The Calypso.The name Cousteau now honors famous researcher Jacques Cousteau.
Mystic is the seventh offspring of Marina (L-47). At the age of one year, he had already outlived four previous siblings. Mystic is a very active young whale. He has two siblings, Moonlight (L-83) and Muncher (L-91).
Joy is the second calf of Matia (L-77). She was first seen on May 29, 2012. She is a spunky whale and is sometimes seen playing with her cousin Cousteau (L-113). She travels closely with her mother in the L12 subgroup and they are often seen with Mystery (L-85).
Windsongis the second calf of Calypso (L-94). He was first seen on the outer coast of Washington in February 2015 by NOAA researchers. Windsong has an older sister, Cousteau (L-113), who was born in October 2009. These two siblings are often seen socializing.
Proceeds from orca adoptions support ongoing education, research and public outreach on behalf of the Southern Resident Community of killer whales.
Adopt one of Southern Resident Community killer whales and the proceeds will support orca education and research. There are 81 whales in these three pods (J, K and L pods) that are available for adoption through our Orca Adoption Program. Simply click a whale photo above to learn more about it and/or adopt it.
Note Adoptions are processed and mailed within 3 business days of receipt. You will be notified when your adoption is about to expire.
How Do I Choose A Whale?
Orca whales are as unique as people are.
Whether you are adopting a whale for yourself or for someone else, the best matches are based on commonalities. We've learned that the strongest bonds form between people and whales that are the same gender and in the same age range. For example, if you are adopting an orca for a child or grandchild (or parent or grandparent) start by finding whales that are the same gender and about the same age.
Yoda is popular with fans of the "Star Wars" movies.
...or find the adoption package you'd like and select a whale from the drop-down menu.
Where Does The Money Go?
Thanks for asking! Proceeds from the Orca Adoptions directly benefit our education programs and research efforts.
Our biggest effort is our Exhibit Hall which is open to the public nearly year-round. Through two floors of exhibits, visitors learn more about the Southern Resident Community of orcas, other marine mammals and the Salish Sea ecosystem. We hope that by learning about this richly diverse yet fragile ecosystem, visitors will be inspired to become better stewards.
Our education efforts include:
Presentations and guided tours for school groups and other visitors like Roads Scholar
The Seasound Remote Sensing Network, which includes the hydrophone array at the Lime Kiln Point lighthouse. This array is part of the broader OrcaSound.net network which streams live on the internet. This helps us monitor underwater noise which can affect an orca's ability to communicate and find prey.
The Whale Hotline. Since 1976, we've kept a database of orca and other marine mammal sightings in the inland waters. This helps determine use & frequency which helps identify critical habitat.
The San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network. For animals that strand deceased, we often conduct necropsies. This helps us understand why the animal died and what health issues might be present in the marine ecosystem.
The Soundwatch Boater Education Program. This on-the-water program is both education & research. The research effort includes characterizing vessel trends over time in the presence of whales.