Now, you may wonder why Onyx L87, an L pod member would be traveling with J pod. His story is quite an interesting one. After Onyx lost his mother, Olympia L32 (est.1955-2005), he was adopted by an elder female in K pod called Lummi K7 (est.1910-2008) and he switched from L to K pod. When Lummi passed away in 2008, Onyx was left without a mother figure again, but not for long. Georgia K11 (est.1933- June 2010), Lummi’s probable daughter, took up raising Onyx until she passed away in 2010. Luckily Spieden and Granny J2 were there for Onyx and he switched pods again, from K to J pod. To this day he can still be seen with Spieden and Granny.
It is often that first borns, like J49, don't survive their first year of life because of high loads of toxins like PCBs, PBDEs and DDTs that they obtain while developing in the womb and through their mother's milk while nursing. These toxins attach to fat tissues, moving up the food chain until they reach the orcas. The orcas receive the highest loads and this can severely affect their immune and reproductive systems. Sometimes calves can get such high loads of the toxins that they simply can not survive.
Blackberry's family is made up of adult male Blackberry, his younger sister Tsuchi J31 and his younger brother Mako J39. Thier mother, Blossom J11, passed away in 2008 at an estimated age of just thirty six years old.
Princess Angeline's family consists of Princess Angeline, her daughters Polaris J28, Tahlequah J35 and son Moby J44 and her grandchildren Star J46 and Notch J47.
Oreo's matriline is made up of Oreo, her two sons Doublestuf J34 and Cookie J38 and her niece, Rhapsody J32.
As I watched J pod head farther North up the island and disappear from view, I wondered if they would stick around for a few days (meaning there is enough salmon for them to eat), or at some point during the night, turn around and head back out the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Either way, they looked super happy to be back in the islands, and it seemed like they were saying we're back!!
The next day, J pod was nowhere to be seen but on 5/17/13 they appeared off the South end of the island and swam past Lime Kiln State Park again, with all of the pod far offshore in a resting line. I can't wait for K and L pod to show up!
Please don't use my photos without permission. Just ask :)