In 2002, the body of a female killer whale was found stranded on the North Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Just offshore, a healthy, young male hovered close by, refusing gentle attempts to guide him into safer deep water. Although the male orca was saved, it was soon learned that the female’s body carried one of the highest loads of toxic chemicals ever recorded in a marine mammal.
Local children who learned about her story gave her the name, “Hope.”
This orca was the first completely digitized orca ever.
Learn more about this whale, and what happened to her after her death below: http://ptmsc.org/programs/investigate/citizen-science/completed-projects/orca-project
Courtesy of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Port Townsend Washington.