Program teaches about killer whales

Did you know that killer whales have brains so large that they shut half their brain off when they need to take a nap but keep swimming using the other half?

Did you know there was a specially trained retriever whose job it is to sniff out killer whale poop in the water for scientists to collect and analyze?

These are some of the facts and stories you’ll learn at Adopt A Stream Foundation’s program, “Killer Whale Tales.”

The program is presented by whale researcher Jeff Hogan, who is also a trained actor, so he really knows how to deliver these tales. He presents the program with kids in mind.

Hogan is a professional photographer who will come armed with a great deal of photos and video footage of the San Juan Islands killer whale population, or orcas, one of the icons of the Pacific Northwest.

A research webcam that was temporarily attached to a male killer whale’s dorsal fin — the big fin on its back that sticks out of the water — took lots of footage so Hogan will be able to show what it is like to swim with the San Juan pod.

He will provide the most up-to-date information on the baby orca that was born earlier this year, and he’ll bring along a killer whale skull for visitors to examine, according to a press release.

You will become a bit of an expert on killer whales when you leave this show. When you see one the wild, you will able to recognize if that whale is swimming to get to another location, hunting for salmon, or just playing. You will be able to tell if the whale is sleeping.

Workbooks to help identify each whale by its dorsal fin will be given out. You will learn the calls made by orcas from the different pods in the San Juan Islands.

“Killer Whale Tales” will be presented at 11 a.m. Saturday at the NW Stream Center at McCollum Park, 600 128th St., SE Everett.

Call 425-316-8592 now to register as space is limited. Cost is $5 for Adopt A Stream Foundation members, $7 for nonmembers.

This event is being conducted by the Adopt A Stream Foundation in partnership with Snohomish County Parks and Recreation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For more details about “Killer Whale Tales” go to www.streamkeeper.org.

Herald staff

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