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New photos show orca pods, baby ‘leaping for joy’ (GALLERY)

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

From Pacific Whale Watch Association: The Salish Sea continues to be a “pre-school” of sorts for the four youngest members of the Southern Resident Community of orcas.

According to crews from the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA), J50, J51, J52 and L121 – all born since December 30th of last year – have been seen almost every day and by all accounts appear to be healthy and happy and, in some cases, putting on quite a show.

“I’ve never seen a baby whale breach like J50’s been doing,” reports Michael Harris, Executive Director of PWWA, which represents 33 operators in Washington and British Columbia. ”Her energy is astounding – I guess not unlike my small kids.  She’s constantly leaping into the air, and often curling up and doing belly flops.  Of course we never know exactly why orcas breach, but when you see a young one do what J50’s been doing, over and over again, and being so playful and affectionate as she is with her family members, you sorta lose that cold scientific analysis and just conclude she’s leaping for joy.  It’s definitely a joy to watch.”

Photo credits via Pacific Whale Watch Association:

  • “4 Becomes 2,” by naturalist Tasli Shaw, Steveston Ecoventures, Steveston, BC.
  • 104yo matriarch J2 aka “Granny” with J51in Haro Strait. Photo: Naturalist Tasli Shaw, Steveston Ecoventures, Steveston, BC.
  • J50 and J52 with J16 and J26in Haro Strait. Photo: Naturalist Tasli Shaw, Steveston Ecoventures, Steveston, BC.
  • J51 with J41in Haro Strait. Photo: Naturalist Tasli Shaw, Steveston Ecoventures, Steveston, BC.
  • J52 with family in Haro Strait. Photo: Naturalist Tasli Shaw, Steveston Ecoventures, Steveston, BC.
  • J50 with family in Haro Strait. Photos: Andrew Lees, Five Star Whale Watching, Victoria, BC.
  • J51 with family off San Juan Island, including with 104yo matriarch J2, “Granny.” Photos: Naturalist Heather MacIntyre, Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching, San Juan Island, WA.
  • J50 breach in Haro Strait. Photos: Naturalist Clint “Showtime” Rivers, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria, BC.
  • J50 with family off San Juan Island, WA. Photo: Capt. Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver, BC. (NOTE: Salmon in mouth of some of the shots.)
  • J52 off Jordan River, BC. Photo: Capt. Daniel Pudwell, Sooke Coastal Explorations, Sooke, BC.
  • J50 off San Juan Island, WA. Photo: Naturalist Barbara Bender.

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1 Comment

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