Daily winter wildlife tours from Victoria. Call us or book online!

Captain’s Blog

Ruffles: The Iconic Orca in the Pacific Northwest

August 27, 2012

Ruffles, J1, swimming in the Pacific North West

Ruffles, J1, swimming in the Pacific North West. Photo By: Monika

Ruffles (Born ~1950, Died 2011)

Even though he is now deceased, Ruffles remains one of the most recognizable killer whales in the Pacific Northwest. Known for his 6-foot tall, ruffled-edge dorsal fin, he was the patriarch of J Pod, one of the three pods that make up the endangered southern resident killer whale community.

Ruffles lived to the ripe old age of 60, which is well beyond the average life expectancy for killer whales. Males usually only live to the age of 30, so Ruffles lived an exceptionally long life! He even managed to escape death or capture at the hands of whale hunters in Penn Cove in 1970—the infamous day when 4 or 5 orcas drowned and 7 were captured and delivered to marine parks. Ruffles was the oldest known male killer whale in the world, and fathered at least 7 calves in all three pods, J, K and L.

Because he had such a unique appearance, Ruffles, or J1 as he is known to scientists, was the first whale to be recorded in the photo identification catalogue created by the Center for Whale Research in the 1970s. Updated annually, the catalogue now includes the entire southern resident population—25 in J Pod, 20 in K Pod and 42 in L Pod—and provides researchers with significant information on population dynamics, demography and conservation.

Ruffles frequently traveled alongside Granny, J Pod’s 100-year-old matriarch, but he hasn’t been seen since November 21, 2010. He was officially listed as missing in April 2011 and has since been declared dead. The oldest remaining male in the southern resident population is believed to be L41, who was born in 1977.

 

Social

Tags

aboriginal peopleAboriginal People BCalbino orcaaquariumsBald EagleBamfieldBC west coastBC whale watchingbe a touristbear watchingbehaviourbigg's killer whalesbirdsblack bearBlackberryBlackfishbreedingBritish Columbia Whale Watchingcalifornia sea lionscalvescanada daycaptivitycareerscoast salishCorey VinkCorkycruise adventuresCruiser TourCruiser whale watching toursDall's porpoiseDawn Brancheaudealsdivingdolphinsecholocationelephant sealsfalse killer whaleFamous Killer Whalesfamous orcafeedingfeeding & foragingfirst nationsfirst whale watchingfood chainGlobal Ghost Geargrannygray whalegreat white sharksgrey whaleHarbour AirHarbour porpoiseHarbour Sealhuman encounters with killer whaleshumans and orcashumpback whalehumpback whalesIkaikiinteresting sh!*InvisibiliaJ PodJ-2J-Pod namesJ-Pod resident orcasJim DarlingK PodKasatkakiller whale factskiller whale vs great white sharkskiller whaleskiller whales huntingkiller whales in the wildL Podl pod orcaslpod orcasLuna the Whalelunge feedingMickMick Millermigration patternsminke whalenatural habitatnaturalistNootka SoundNorthern Elephant Sealnorwegian cruise lineoldest killer whale on earthOrcaOrca Adventuresorca attacks sharkorca communicationorca encountersorca familiesorca feeding habitsorca historyorca kayak videoorca languageorca lessonsOrca photographyOrca SpiritOrca Spirit Naturalistsorca whaleorca whale encountersOrca whale fightOrca Whale Toursorca whalesorcasorcas and humansorcas and peopleorcas in captivityorcas in whytecliff parkorcas of j-podPacific Salmon Press releasepinnipedPorpoises Vs. Dolphinsport renfrewrace rocksrace rocks ecological reserveRace Rocks LighthouseRachael MerrettRaptorresident j-pod orcasresident orcasResident orcas of J-Podresident whalesresidentsresidents orcassalmonscholarshipsea ottersea otterssealsealionsealsSeaWorldSeaworld OrlandoSeaworld San DiegoSheenah DuclosSightingssouthern resident killer whalesSpringerstaff profilesstellar sea lionssteller sea lionsSummer Whale Watching VictoriasuperpodTaylor ChapdelaineTilikumTillikumtransient orcastransientsTumboUlises Killer WhaleUniversity of AlbertaVacation IdeasVancouverVictoriaVictoria Whale WatchingVictoria whale whatchingWest Coastwest vancouverwhalewhale evolutionWhale Watcher's ScholarshipWhale Watchers Scholarship 2018 Contestwhale watchingwhale watching experienceWhale Watching VancouverWhale Watching Victoriawhaleswhytecliff parkwild renfrewworld's oldest orcaZodiac TourZodiac ToursZodiac whale watching tours
Show more tags

Leaders in responsible Eco-Tourism

Close Menu Book Tour