Four Orca Calves Receive Names

After several weeks of public voting with more than 6,500 votes counted, four Southern Resident Community Orca calves have new names! The newly named babies are: Notch (J-47), Saturna (K-43), Mystic (L-115) and Finn (L-116).

Receiving a name is a BIG DEAL!  It means the whales has survived their first winter, making their chances for long term survival much greater. These active, young whales have returned with their pod and have been spotted throughout the summer. They have now been entered into the Orca Adoption Program, which is a really cool way to support whale research.

The Orca Adoption Program was started in the spring of 1984. No, you don’t REALLY adopt the animal, but when each orca is given a name and history, people can then understand its unique personality and complex social relationships, and form a connection to the whales. At the time the Orca Adoption program was created, a Congressional bill to ban live captures of killer whales was pending; it subsequently passed. Today, thousands of people know Granny (J-2), Oreo (J-22) and other Southern Resident orcas through the Orca Adoption Program.

An Orca Adoption is a wonderful way to connect with these magnificent orcas. Symbolically adopting a whale in the Southern Resident Community also supports the mission of The Whale Museum which, since 1979, has been promoting stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea eco-system through education and research. In addition to providing exhibits and the Orca Adoption Program, the Museum provides programs including: the Soundwatch Boater Education, Marine Naturalist Training, San Juan Islands Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Whale Hotline. Orca Adoptions make wonderful gifts for family and friends. For more information, contact the Orca Adoption team at (360) 378-4710 ext. 24, or go to

For a little history on the granddaddy we are all mourning, see our Tucker House blog Tribute to Ruffles.