It has recently been learned that J14 Samish of the Southern Resident Killer Whale Population (SRKW) is missing and presumed dead. It is highly unusual for an individual orca to go off by themselves and leave their pod, especially a matriarch. At only only 42 years old, the loss of J14 is a surprising one for J pod.
With the loss of J14 there are now only 82 orca’s left of the SRKW population. The recent gains from last years baby boom are being diminished quickly – so far this year we have seen the loss of L95, J55 and now J14.
From recent sightings and reports it now appears that J28 Polaris (only 23 years old) is very ill and looking emaciated in a recent encounter. Emaciation is typical sign of illness and/or starvation and can be seen when a whale starts to develop what is referred to as a “peanut head” (a loss of blubber behind the base of the skull) and is usually an indicator that death is not far off.
“Things are shaping up to be pretty bad.” said Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research ” J28 is looking super gaunt, and I would say she is within days of her death”
While occasionally whales do recover from this condition, the possible loss of J28 will likely mean the loss of her newest calf J54. At only 7 months old J54 is not ready to survive on his own. It is possible that he will be adopted by another female in the group J28’s mom J17 Princess Angeline or sister J35 Tahlequah.
What can you DO to help:
Get Involved – volunteer for a shoreline cleanup in your area – tell organization why support or why you do not – write to your local government representative (send letters and emails)
- Prevent Southern Resident Orcas from being Dammed to Extinction
- Save Lolita’s (SRKW) Dammed Family Set the Water Free
- Support The Executive Order to Remove Four Lower Snake River Dams
- Choose Ocean Wise Seafood http://www.oceanwise.ca/
- Check out David Suzuki’s Top 10 Susatinable Seafood List
- Check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch
Become a Member of the Center for Whale Research – follow them on Facebook & Twitter
Adopt a Whale – check out The Whale Museum for more information
Follow Dam Sense on Facebook and check out their website damsense.org
Tweet to help Take down the dams
Read the following articles to learn more:
- The Orcas are Starving by David Niewert
- Breach dams, or its game over for salmon by Jim Waddell
Watch Free the Snake: Restoring America’s Greatest Salmon River – Jim Waddell lays out the reasons why the four lower Snake River dams must be breached