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Your adoption will support conservation efforts that safegaurd these iconic ocean ambassadors.

Symbolically adopting a wild killer whale will connects you with one of these amazing animals.

Since 1992, the Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program has supported conservation-oriented research on wild killer whales by Ocean Wise’s Marine Mammal Research Program. While research is directed mostly on wild killer whales, it also includes other marine mammals that killer whales interact with in their marine environment. Research discoveries are shared through scientific publications, media, social media and public lectures, and through the provision of expert advice to governments, industry, and non-government organizations. Over the past 25 years, the Adoption Program has supported many ground-breaking research projects.

Your monthly gift makes a difference! Each monthly contribution will receive:

✓ Updates on Ocean Wise killer whale conservation efforts and opportunities to hear from marine mammal experts

✓ Ocean Wise monthly newsletters with the latest on exciting ocean conservation initiatives

✓ An annual tax receipt for each month your adoption is active

Your support matters

Your monthly support through the Killer Whale Adoption Program will support a range of conservation activities at Ocean Wise, including the Marine Mammal Research Program’s killer whale research and other conservation activities that protect our ocean and the animals who call it home.

Meet the whales

A73 Springer

A female northern resident killer whale rescued in 2002 and now thriving in the wild

A119 Venture

A young male killer whale born in 2018, Venture is a member of the A5 pod.

A67 Eclipse

Named after Eclipse Point, Eclipse is an adult female killer whale born in late 1997.

T123A Stanley

Stanley, a Bigg’s killer whale, is named after the famous Vancouver landmark Stanley Park.

A73 Springer

Springer is a young female killer whale born in 2000 and named after Springer Point, on Sonora Island at the south end of Johnstone Strait (50°18’00″N 125°13’00”).

Springer is quite the celebrity! After her mother, Sutley (A45), died sometime in 2001, Springer showed up alone and in poor health in Washington State’s Puget Sound in early 2002. She was just two years old. Approaching dangerously close to boats, her behaviour and physical condition were a growing cause for concern. A group of experts, including a team from the Vancouver Aquarium, successfully rescued, rehabilitated, and released her back into Canadian waters.

In the weeks following her release, Springer was spotted with members of her family’s pod. Recognized by her calls, she was slowly welcomed back into her own northern resident community. Although Springer rarely travels with her A24 matriline, she is most often sighted with her adopted family, the A35 matriline and a female killer whale named Nahwitti (A56). Springer now has a family of her own. Spirit (A104) was born in 2013, and Storm (A116) was born in 2017.

A119 Venture

Venture, named after Venture Point (50°17’44”N, 125°20’24”W) on Sonora Island, is a young male killer whale born in 2018. Venture is the first calf of Current (A79) and Venture’s grandmother is matriarch, Sonora (A42). Venture is a member of one of three matrilines in a pod known to researchers as A5 pod. It is one of the best known northern resident pods because it normally spends a great deal of time in Johnstone strait during the summer and was one of the first groups of B.C. killer whales to be identified by researchers in the early 1970s.

A67 Eclipse

Eclipse, named after Eclipse Point on the northeast coast of British Columbia (52°58’38″N 129°18’00″W), is an adult female killer whale who was born in late 1997. Eclipse is the third calf of Simoom (A34) and has two brothers, Echo (A55) and Hope (A80); and two sisters, Misty (A62) and Rainy (A96). Eclipse became a mother herself in 2009 with the birth of her first calf, Sunday (A92). Unfortunately, Sunday passed away in 2-11. Luckily, eclipse had another chance at motherhood and gave birth to Tuzo (A102) in 2012 and Barlow (A112) in 2016 – both are still alive and well!

T123A Stanley

Stanley, named after Stanley Park in Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, is a male killer whale who was born in 2000. Stanley is the first offspring of Sidney (T123) and has two younger siblings, Lucky (T123C) and Darcy (T123D). Another younger sibling, Thrasher (T123B), has been missing since 2011 and is presumed to have passed away. Stanley received his name after he made a rare visit to Vancouver’s Inner Harbour in May 2011. Later that same year, Stanley and his mother were discovered stranded on a beach near Prince Rupert, British Columbia, but they were able to swim away a few hours later when the tide came up. They have been seen many times since and appear to have suffered no ill-effects from the stranding.

J35 Tahlequah

One of the most famous wild killer whales, she was observed carrying her deceased newborn's body in 2018.

K36 Yoda

A charismatic young female southern killer whale born in 2003.

J35 Tahlequah

Tahlequah is perhaps one of the most famous wild killer whales in the world. She made headlines in July 2018 when she was observed carrying her deceased newborn’s body around for 17 days in what became known as a tour of grief. Tahlequah was born in 1998 and gave birth to her first calf, Notch (J47), in 2010 who is still alive and well. To the surprise of researchers, Tahlequah became pregnant and successfully gave birth again September 2020.

Tahlequah’s well-known mother, Princess Angeline (J17), unfortunately passed away in the summer of 2019. She has two younger siblings, brother Moby (J44) and baby sister Kiki (J53). She is also an aunt to her late sister, Polaris’ (J28), daughter, Star (J46). Genetic studies revealed that Tahlequah’s father is a male from L pod, Mega (L41).

K36 Yoda

Yoda is a young female killer whale who was born in 2003. Yoda is the second calf of Lea (K14). Yoda has two brothers: Lobo (K26), born in 1993, and Kelp (K42), who was born in 2008. Yoda and her family also travel with Opus (K16) and her son Sonata (K35). Yoda’s grandmother, K8, and uncle, K29, unfortunately both passed away in 1998.

Meet the matrilines

A73 Matriline

This matriline consists of the famous northern resident Springer (A73) and her two calves Spirit (A104) and Storm (A116).

J4 Matriline

Led by Shachi (J19), they belong to J pod one of three southern resident pods.

J17 Matriline

Family members in this southern resident matriline include Tahlequah (J35) and others seen in the feature film, Free Willy.

A73 Matriline

The A73 matriline is part of the A4 pod of northern resident killer whales and is made up of matriarch, Springer (A73) and her offspring, Spirit (A104) and Storm (A116). Springer, born in 2000, is named after Springer Point on Sonora Island (50°18’00″N 125°13’00”) at the south end of Johnstone Strait and is quite the celebrity!

After her mother, Sutley (A45), died sometime in 2001, Springer showed up alone and in poor health in Washington State’s Puget Sound in early 2002. She was just two years old. Approaching dangerously close to boats, her behaviour and physical condition were a growing cause for concern. A group of experts, including a team from the Vancouver Aquarium, has an ambitious plan: to rescue Springer, restore her to health, and reunite her with her pod in Canadian waters. In the weeks following her release, Springer was spotted with members of her family’s pod. Recognized by her calls, she was slowly welcomed back into her own northern resident community.

Although Springer rarely travels with her A24 matriline, she is most often sighted with her adopted family, the A35 matriline and a female killer whale named Nahwitti (A56). Springer’s release was deemed the ultimate success when she gave birth to Spirit in 2013, and Storm in 2017. Spirit is named after Spirit Island on the central coast of British Columbia (52°09’34″N 128°06’11″W), and Storm is named after Storm Rock in Fitz Hugh Sound (54°25’29″N 130°18’00”) which is where the calf was first seen.

J4 Matriline

The J4 matriline belongs to the southern resident pod of killer whales known as J pod. Shachi (J19) is the family matriarch and has one surviving daughter, Eclipse (J41). Shachi became a grandmother in 2015 when Eclipse gave birth to her first offspring, Nova (J51). Shachi and family also travel with her nephews, Blackberry (J27) and Mako (J39), and niece, Tsuchi (J31) and her daughter, Tofino (J56) – their mother Blossom (J11), Shachi’s sister, died in 2008. As a teenager, Blackberry spent a lot of time with pod mate Mike (J26) and together they made a very mischievous pair. After Blackberry’s mother died, he took over the role of caring for younger brother Mako and the two are inseparable.

J17 Matriline

The J17 matriline belongs to the southern resident pod of killer whales known as J pod. Princess Angeline (J17) born in 1977, was the head of the matriline before she sadly passed away in 2019. She was named after the daughter of Duwamish elder Chief Seattle who Seattle is named after. Princess Angeline left behind three surviving offspring: daughters Tahlequah (J35) and Kiki (J53), and son Moby (J44). Her oldest daughter Polaris (J28) and Polaris’ youngest calf Dipper (J54) sadly passed away in October 2016. Polaris’ older calf Star (J46) is still alive and well.

Tahlequah, is now the oldest female in the family and perhaps one of the most famous wild killer whales in the world. She made headlines in July 2018 when she was observed carrying her deceased newborn’s body around for 17 days in what became known as a tour of grief. Tahlequah was born in 1998 and gave birth to her first calf, Notch (J47), in 2010 who is a very active whale, often seen spyhopping and showing off with his young family members. To the surprise of researchers, Tahlequah became pregnant and successfully gave birth again September 2020. Tahlequah and her family also travel with J22 and her offspring. Tahlequah can also be seen with other members of her pod in the feature film, Free Willy.

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