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).
The Whale Museum says receiving a name is an important event because it acknowledges the whale has survived their first winter, making their chances for long term survival much greater.
The whales have returned with their pod and have been seen throughout the summer. They have now been entered into the Orca Adoption Program, which was started in the spring of 1984.
The rationale was that if each orca were given a name and history, people would 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.