On February 11, 2012, L112 a 3 year old Southern Resident Killer Whale was found stranded on the shores of Long Beach Washington. L112, more lovingly referred to as Sooke, was the daughter of L86 Surprise!. After two years of debate and research, it has been concluded that Sooke died of a massive blunt force trauma to the head and neck. It was proposed that sonar and explosives were the cause of death as the Canadian Navy confirmed they were doing testing off the coast of Vancouver Island in early February. This theory was ruled out due to tidal and wind directions. Both the tides and the wind were coming from the south, causing Sooke to drift northward. At her proposed time of death, she would have been too far south for the sonar and small explosive testing to have caused her harm. It is unknown weather the object that stuck Sooke was inanimate or animate.
For a full report, you can visit NOAA online.
It was a sad day when we lost Sooke, and we hope that all members of the Southern Resident Community return safely this year.
Office Manager and Naturalist, San Juan Outfitters