The Center for Whale Research just announced that one of Puget Sound’s endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales is missing:
J14, a 42-year old female in J pod, is considered missing. Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research last saw her on July 31. Center for Whale Research staff members have since had three on-the-water encounters with the rest of her matriline but she was not present.
J14, also known as Samish – named by the Samish Tribe – was born in 1974, the first year Dr. Mike Bigg, commissioned by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, started studying the Southern Resident killer whales. She has three living offspring: daughters J37 and J40 and son J45; she is also grandmother to J37’s calf J49. J14 is the only known daughter of J12 and a possible descendant of J2.
CWR staff member Melisa Pinnow last photographed J14 from shore on August 3rd. When last seen in July, J14 gave no indication of being sick or otherwise unhealthy.
We will wait to have one more definitive encounter with the J14’s before recording her as indeed deceased.