KUOW/NPR Story featuring Killer Whale Tales- June 3rd, 2013
By Ashley Ahearn, KUOW Radio Seattle
“Hey, good morning!” Jeff Hogan exclaims to a class of bright-eyed grade schoolers at the Eton Montessori School in Bellevue, Washington. “What are we going to talk about today?” Hogan asks the class.
Seventeen voices respond, as one, from the floor in front of him: “Orcas!”
Hogan is the brains and character behind Killer Whale Tales. It’s a sort of traveling road show that combines science with storytelling.
Hogan has presented this program to almost 10,000 kids this year in classrooms from Santa Cruz, Calif. to Bellingham, Wash.
That region, as it turns out, is also the range for the J, K and L pods of southern resident killer Whales that call the Northwest home.
Today Hogan is presenting some recent research to first- through third-graders. It’s research that involved satellite tagging a member of K pod to find out where the whales go in the winter. It had been a mystery until recently. Hogan points at a map on the projector screen. The killer whale’s journey shows up in a yellow line.
“He leaves Puget Sound, passes Oregon, all the way down almost to San Francisco in 14 days. Do you think you could swim to San Francisco in 14 days?” he says.
The kids are hanging on Hogan’s every word. He tells them about how the whales stay with their moms for their whole lives -– in matriarchal families, or pods — and he plays them snippets of the distinct calls from each pod.
Read and hear the whole story by clicking here.