- ID number : DL2171
- Sex : Male
- Year of birth : Around 1999
- Know since : 2003
- Adopted since : 2011
His field marks
There are several ways to identify JP. He has a series of blemishes, similar to brush strokes, on his right flank, in front, in the middle and behind his dorsal crest. He also sports a large, deep notch in his crest.
Our first encounter with JP dates back to the summer of 2003 when he was swimming in a herd of around 50 animals, mostly young whales. At the time he was a very young, dark grey, beluga whale. Re-sighted in 2014, he was light grey in colour, almost white. The colour change in beluga whales—their transition from grey to white—takes place between the ages of 12 to 16. Thus, JP was born around 1999.
Easily recognizable by the deep notch in his dorsal crest, JP has been observed every year since 2003, with the exception of 2012 and 2013. His story led us to believe that he was a male beluga whale. A biopsy taken in 2007 confirmed this hypothesis. A biopsy is a small piece of skin and blubber extracted using a crossbow that propels a dart-tipped bolt.
JP is regularly observed in large herds of young males in the Saguenay Fjord and at its mouth. As males get older they tend to form stable groups of companions. These associations become progressively established and may play a role in their reproductive lives. We still do not know any of JP’s faithful companions. However, he has been seen several times with DL1881, another young, adult male.
The next chapter in JP’s story will teach us a lot about the evolution of the social lives of beluga whales. Learning how beluga whales live will enable us to better protect them.
JP observations history
Jacob Issac adopted JP (2011 and 2014).