A rare April encounter brought the first hint that the A5 pod might have suffered an unexpected loss. The young adult female, Nodales (A51), was not with her family, though all the A5 matrilines were present. She and her 2010 baby were both missing. Denial, and no further sightings of the group until much later, kept faint hope alive. Perhaps she had just been missed in the stormy seas that day. As Spring rolled on and the whales began to gather further north, there were more disturbing but not entirely confirmed dispatches regarding Nodales. The pod had by then dispersed into smaller groups, so it was still difficult to draw a firm conclusion. Tension grew and then reality set in as more reports were received. Nodales’ brother, Surge (A61) was observed travelling with his A5 cousins in the A8 matriline, and Nodales’ oldest, Codero (A85) was sighted travelling with Ripple (A43)’s family. It became increasingly likely that the family bonds Nodales had nourished had come apart, and that the survivors had found new homes.
Read the full story Source: Orcalab blog