Lummi, the Orca, R.I.P.

Image removed.

Sad news today that Lummi, the great-great-grandmother of a family of killer whales in Puget Sound known as the “K-Pod,” has gone missing and is presumed dead.  She was believed to have been born in around 1910.  When I read the story I was reminded of how incredibly ancient many of the world's whales are.  In fact, Orcas are relatively short-lived.  Scientists believe that bowhead whales can live 200 years.  Just last year, scientists discovered a 130 year-old harpoon point buried in the blubber of one bowhead.  When you think about that fact that there may be whales alive today who were frolicking calves during America’s civil war, it makes the persistence of commercial whaling all the harder to understand.