Adopted by The biology students from Université Laval
Year of birth
1966 (died in 2013)
Slash is recognized by her long linear scar followed by a bit of a dotted line on her right flank. On her left side, one needs to look for the two gashes at the end of her dorsal crest as well as the small white line in the middle.
The GREMM team first photographed Slash in 1987. He first identification goes back to 1980, an ID transmitted to us by Leone Pippard. Leone herself was the one who named her. At the time, Slash was already an adult dressed in white, which means she was at least 12 to 16 years old.
Slash’s sex was confirmed by molecular analysis of a biopsy taken in 1995. Slash is a female belonging to the Saguenay community. Out of over 100 encounters, none was very far from the mouth of the Saguenay.
Over the years, Slash has been regularly seen with young belugas. However, the last time we saw her with a newborn was in 1992! Her sustained presence with young animals earned her the nickname “mother of all belugas”. Her story leads us to believe that older, less fertile females might play an important, matriarch-type role in the community.
Observations history in the Estuary
Years in which the animal was not observed Years in which the animal was observed
August 26, 2013: we’re in the Saguenay, near Baie Sainte-Marguerite. We make contact with a herd of some forty adult and young belugas. Within the herd we spot Slash, a regular visitor to the sector. The herd splits into two groups. One of the two groups is resting, while the other is quite active! Indeed, we can see pectoral fins and heads poking out of the water. The number of calves counted that day is particularly high: six.
This is the last time we would encounter Slash. Barely a week later, on September 2, 2013, her carcass is discovered at Longue-Rive in the Haute-Côte-Nord region. Analysis of the growth layers in her teeth confirms that she was a mature female, 47 years old. His story remains a precious source of information for our knowledge of this fragile population.
The biology students from Université Laval adopted Slash (1989).