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K35 Sonata born to K16 (Opus), her first calf, Fall, 2002
Sonata K35 was born in the autumn of 2002; so he would be 19 years old now. He is the only living offspring of Opus K16. He and his mom are often seen traveling with Cappuccino K21 who was born in 1986. They seem to have adopted him into their tight knit matrilineal. He is the perfect role model for a maturing young male like Sonata. I chose to show off his tall dorsal fin that has probably reached its full height and has a pointier tip than other mature males. He also has an interesting tear shaped saddle that is more cream colored than white. The photo was from a captain's blog from Orca Spirit Adventures; where I also gleaned more information: The K-pod orcas are the smallest group of the three orca pods belonging to the endangered Southern Resident Killer whale population. They are often the last to show up in the Salish Sea during the spring and summer months.
They have a strict diet of fish with Chinook salmon being their favorite food to eat due to their large size and high fat content. Even though the three pods can't travel as a large unit all the time due to food availability restrictions; they will at times meet up for what is known as a Superpod - full of socializing, mating and lots of chatter that can be picked up on board with their onboard hydrophones.
I can only hope and imagine that Sonata has fathered some young orcas and may continue to do so for a very long time. Eventually he may be a role model for another young male. I also hope he continues to be there to support his mom!
Participant researcher and artist Sandra Johnson
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