I was talking with Loku in the Comments to another post when somehow
the subject of Orca whales came up. I think what brought it to mind
were memories of the great ferry trips I took while on vacation over at
the San Juan islands in 2006 (it's been far too long).
The Puget Sound/Vancouver B.C. area is home to the J, K, and L pods of
Orcas, otherwise known as Killer Whales. There are pods of whales
worldwide, but nobody seems to know how many whales there are exactly.
Besides the pods, there are also whales known as transient whales that
travel outside of the normal pods.
One of the J Pod whales off the San Juan's is called "Granny" (J-2) and
is estimated to be something like 98 years old — older than my
grandmother would have been if she were still alive. Unbelievable. But
as I mentioned in my vacation post it seems that once the Orcas get
past their teenage years that they have a pretty good chance of living
to a ripe old age.
I told Loku "Here are our whales," referring to the Puget Sound whales.
Then I remembered that hilarious line from Star Trek IV where Spock says
to the marine biologist "They are not the hell your whales."
Okay, maybe not. But they are our neighbors at least.
Orca distribution worldwide.