Orca whales. Photo credit: istockphoto
While most male orcas near the end of their life by the age of 50, females begin a new chapter. Like humans, orca females go through menopause at about this time, but are just over halfway through their life. These post-menopausal females then assume the role of pod leader, directing the younger orcas to food and aiding in their survival.
What Northwest human moms can learn: The matriarch carries the wisdom; and life just begins after menopause.
Where to see them: For the best chance of viewing Puget Sound's resident orca pods, head to the San Juan Islands from spring through fall and spend a weekend watching for orcas. While you’re there, visit The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor or the Langley Whale Center on Whidbey Island. Transient pods can be seen any time of the year, even from Seattle.
Watch: Show your kids this incredible video of kayakers paddling next to orcas.