Funky Monkey (NZ68) is a very distinctive orca in New Zealand waters and as a male who is still growing, he has a wobbly fin. He was named by a research assistant of the Orca Research Trust, Sarah Dwyer and she gave him the name because of his ‘funky’ fin. Presumed to be born around 1990 Funky Monkey is often seen travelling with a young orca called Pickle, a female called Miracle and her two calves, Merlin and Magic. Source: Orca Research Trust
The true beauty of this species is demonstrated in the relationship between a mother and her calf. Once a calf is born into a resident pod, they remain in that pod for the rest of their lives, often side-by-side with their mom and siblings. Orca are the only known species in the world where both female and male offspring stay with their mothers and immediate family forever. Mama and Baby Orca - Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand
Most often, individuals travel within their matrilineal family group, sometimes with multiple generations of mothers and their kids. This is a very handy bit of knowledge when it comes to identifying individuals in the wild. First, look for the most distinctive whale in the group. This might be an adult male, a female or juvenile with an obvious nick in their dorsal fin, or an individual with an interesting shape to their saddle patch.