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Orca Calf L-119 is Named

L119 and Her Mother Matia
L119 and Her Mother Matia

After several weeks of public voting with more than 2,500 votes counted, Southern Resident Community Orca calf  L-119 has received her name! Though the voting was close, Joy is the winning name by about 100 votes.

Joy is a fitting name as this playful calf has brought joy and hope for these endangered whales.Read more about this new calf and her family on our Meet the Whales page on the Whale Museum website.

Receiving a name is an important event.  It acknowledges the whale has survived their first winter, making their chances for long term survival much greater.  This active young whale has returned with her pod and has been seen throughout the summer. She has now been entered into the Orca Adoption Program. (For more information on the Samish Nation naming ceremony, see our blog post.)

The Orca Adoption Program was started in the spring of 1984.  The inspiration behind the creation of the adoption program was that, if each orca were given a name and history, people would understand that each whale has a unique personality with complex social relationships, and then form a connection to the whale and the Southern Resident Community of orcas.  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 ecosystem 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.

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