Alex and Maisie pose with the legend Ken Balcomb and the folder of the first ever year of Southern resident killer whale ID's! During this visit Ken showed us his vast library of cetacean related books, we wanted to camp out there for a week! He also walked us through the years and varying methods of data collection since the study began in 1976. The Center for Whale Research is dedicated to the study and conservation of the Southern resident killer whales; you can visit them at www.whaleresearch.com and become a member to support their work and get whaley cool perks!
Ruffles, named so because of his wavy dorsal fin, is also known as J1 - the first whale to be ID'd when the Center for Whale Research first began ID'ing the Southern residents. He was estimated to have been born in 1951 and passed away in 2010. He features, and is easily recognised, in the Free Willy movies and was also captured himself during the capture operations in the 60's and 70's but was later released because he was too large for transportation! This Alex standing beside a replica of his dorsal fin in the info centre at Lime Kiln State Park.