L 5 Tanya
by Sasha Lee, age 6
In Sasha’s artwork, Tanya is spy hopping. The green represents the mountains and the orange is the setting sun. There are also splashes of water coming off the whale. Tanya is having fun.
L5 Tanya was part of a group of L-Pod whales that does not spend a lot of time in inland waters. As such, I never got to see too much of her, and was always excited when I did as she remained a more unknown whale to me. She only had two known offspring, both sons, and both very distinct males. L58 Sparky was one of the first few whales I learned to identify around the year 2000. He was easy to pick out because this was a time when there were only 3 or 4 fully adult males in the whole population. Her other son, L73 Flash, was a bit of a Ruffles lookalike. Unfortunately both sons preceded Tanya in death. Tanya had a bit of a unique dorsal fin, at least to my now more highly trained eye. The middle of the back trailing edge seemed to bulge out, easily seen in the above photograph where she is silhouetted. She also had a distinct line across one of her saddle patches, and a testament to how rarely I saw her is the fact that I never got a great picture showing this unique marking very well. With her passing, Tanya leaves behind young male L84 Nyssa, her sister's grandson, as the only surviving member of the L9 matriline.