Luna’s 3rd anniversary – July 23rd 2004

This past week marks the third anniversary of Luna’s appearance in Nootka Sound – he was first sighted on July 14th or 15th, 2001. Luna’s appearance was sudden and unexpected. It happened just a few days after the death of Chief Ambrose Maquinna of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation. Before his death, Chief Maquinna had told his close kin that he would return as a “killer whale”, so Luna was immediately recognised as the embodiment of the departed Chief. This belief persists today, and largely explains the attitude of Nootka Sound First Nations towards Luna.

Luna was very young, less than 2 years old, when he arrived in Nootka Sound. How he got there remains a mystery, but his identity as “L98”, a member of the L2 matriline of the Southern Resident orca community, soon became known from “ID” photographs taken after his September 1999 birth off San Juan Island. Luna’s mother, L67 (Splash) was alive when he came to Nootka Sound, and is still alive today. Partly because of this fact, and also because of the strong bonds known to exist between orca mothers and their offspring, Luna’s chances of successfully reuniting with his orca community are considered excellent.

As Luna enters his fourth year as a solitary orca in Nootka Sound, we are hopeful that the two belief systems, one derived from ancient traditions and the other from modern science, can come together and work together for the ultimate benefit of Luna.

For further information about Luna, see:

Listen now

Stream our live hydrophone audio