I am a 22 year old female with one son Sonata (K-35) who is now 15. My sister Lea (K-14) and her offspring are all the surviving family I have. I sometimes spend time with my sister and the other mothers in my pod. This is important social time for me as well as for Sonata. Being the social animals we are, Sonata needs to have opportunities to develop strong bonds with the other whales besides me, and especially with whales his own age.
My “sister” whale is Opus from K-Pod, the smallest pod of the southern resident orcas. She was born in 1985 and so is 32 years old. In the year of the new millennium Opus had her first calf (K32). Unfortunately her baby didn’t live beyond a year. In 2002 she had her second calf, a male named Sonata (K35). They still swim together.
As a small boat lover (kayak and rowing scull), I have had the privilege of sharing the Salish Seas with the orcas and have seen them on many occasions. Their closely connected families are a beautiful example of how communities need to live together, supporting, teaching and sharing with each, no one exploiting for their own advantage.
These large mammals are an incredible example of our precious natural world. Their impact both physically and spiritually is essential to human well being. Protecting this vital species is at a critical point. I hope people will join us as we raise our voices together, supporting, teaching and sharing.