Three orca calves newly named

Newly named as Keta through The Whale Museum
Newly named as Keta through The Whale Museum's public voting process, L-117 swims alongside L-5 in this photograph taken in December 2010.
— image credit: Courtesy of Center for Whale Research/David Ellifrit

Ripple. Keta. Jade.

They are the leading vote-getters in The Friday Harbor Whale Museum's recent voting for names of three of the Southern Resident killer whales most recent arrivals.

More than 5,000 votes were cast over the past several weeks. The name Ripple will be given to the calf known scientifically as K-44; Keta is L-117, and Jade is L-118.

Receiving a name is an important event, according to the Whale Museum. It acknowledges that an orca has survived its first winter, making the chances of its long-term survival much greater. Each of the three calves returned with the respective pods, J, K and L, and have been seen in the San Juans throughout the summer. Each of the three calves have now been entered into the museum's Orcas Adoption Program.

Created in early 1984, the adoption program was formed as a way to offer greater understanding of the personality and complex social relationships of the Southern Resident killer whales by giving each orca a name and history, thereby allowing people to form a bond with each killer whale. At the time the program was created, a bill in Congress that sought to ban live captures of killer whales was pending; it subsequently passed.

Through its adoption program, the museum helps fund its many programs that promote stewardship of orcas and the Salish Sea eco-system, and education and research. In addition to providing exhibits and the symbolic adoption program, museum programs include Soundwatch Boater Education, Marine Naturalist Training, San Juan Island Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Whale Hotline.

Visit The Whale Museum online at,



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