FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. — It’s literally a baby boom among the J-Pod of the Southern Resident orcas.
Crews of thePacific Whale Watch Association reported the sighting Monday. It said the birth was confirmed Monday night by the Center for Whale Research.
The group said naturalist/researcher Jeanne Hyde was on a whale watching boat shortly after noon Monday and watching the subgroup J-16s with their 3-month-old calf J-50 off Galiano Island, B.C.
“We were assuming we had only the J-16s,” Hyde said. “And as they passed in front of the boat I saw a small calf surfacing next to J-16 and said, ‘There’s the baby.’ But then J-50 surfaced behind all the rest. That’s when I (said), ‘I think there are two calves!’”
The crew noted heavy fetal folds on the baby, which indicates it was newborn.
This latest addition would bring the Southern Residents orcas to a total of 81.