Samish

Life at the new job sure is rough. I show up this Monday morning, expecting busy work, and they ask me if I wanna go kayaking to check out some of the sites and collect samples. My response: yeah, I do! I impressed my coworkers by jumping out of the kayak into the water to retrieve a lost temperature sensor (it was shallow water, nbd). I showed off a little more by doing a roll at the end of the paddle; got it on the second try! (got t-rescued on the first fail). Also, we saw six individual harbor seals, kinda eery when all six of their heads are watching you…

So while I was looking through the Southern Resident Killer Whale family tree, I realized you can see very clear gaps where calves should have been born in the 60′s. Obviously these gaps were caused by the captures but for some reason being able to clearly see which mothers most likely had calves taken from them hit me really hard, so I compiled a list of the female orcas that had gaps in their family tree and a little bit about their family 

J pod 

  • J2 Granny (No 100% known calves, likely had them though)
  • J5 Saratoga (Mother of J17 Princess Angeline, aunt of J22 Oreo)
  • J7 Sucia (Original matriarch of the J16s) 
  • J8 Spieden (No recorded calves, likely taken in the captures)
  • J12 Sissy (Potentially lost 2 calves, one being J24. Mother of J14 Samish)

K pod

  • K4 Morgan (Mother of K12 Sequim, her only recorded calf) 
  • K8 Tumwater (Original matriarch of the K14s)
  • K11 Georgia (Mother of K13 Skagit, her only recorded calf)
  • K18 Kiska (Mother of K21 Cappuccino, the only member left of her pod) 

 L pod

  • L3 Oreana (Grandmother of L84 Nyssa, the only member left of her pod)
  • L4 Sonar (Had 12 grandkids from her 4 recorded calves)
  • L9 Hopi (Mother of L3 Oreana)
  • L12 Alexis (Grandmother of L41 Mega)
  • L21 Ankh (Original matriarch of the L47s) 
  • L25 Ocean Sun (Potentially lost 2 calves, one being Lolita. Only member left)
  • L28 Misky (Mother of L85 Mystery, the only member left of her pod)
  • L35 Victoria (Mother of L54 Ino, very likely lost 1 or more calves to captivity)
  • L37 Kimo (Grandmother of L72 Racer, likely lost a calf in the Penn Cove captures)

We know for sure that 26 young members of the SRKW population were taken as well as others that it is unsure whether they were SRKWs. Around 13 known SRKWs died in the captures including mothers trying to get to their calves. It is very evident in K pod that mothers died during the captures as there were very few breeding females at the time that the study of the SRKWs started, yet there were quite a few members of K pod taken into captivity.