J52, Sonic, was born in 2015, one of six calves born in what was called the “Baby Boom” of 2015/2016. He was often spotted joyfully cavorting alongside his mother, J36 Alki, and appeared to be a strong and healthy baby. Sadly, in September of 2017 at the age of 2, Sonic was seen struggling lethargically as his mother and an adult male (potentially his father) swam slowly alongside him, trying to support him. Sonic was exhibiting the classic “peanut head” that is a sign of severe malnutrition. It was the last sighting of him, and a few days later his mother was spotted alone—Sonic was gone. Because of our decimated salmon stocks, this beautiful creature starved to death in what was once a bountiful sea.
Citizen Scientist: Annie Smith