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Scientists have high hopes for survival of latest baby orca
Scientists have high hopes for survival of latest baby orca

Scientists have high hopes for survival of latest baby orca

A whale of a baby boom is unfolding in Southern waters right now and a new addition has just surfaced.

The newborn since tagged “J53” was spotted off San Juan Island and is now the sixth calf born into the population this year.

The baby orca was seen in Haro Strait traveling with J17, also known as Princess Angeline. 38-year-old Princess Angeline is part of J-Pod, and is believed to have birthed J53. This is her fourth calf, and she’s grandmother to J46 and J47.

“The wide range of ages of the mothers has really been fascinating to us,” explained Michael Harris, Executive Director of PWWA, representing 36 operators in BC and Washington said in a press release.

News of another calf is creating hope that the endangered Southern Resident orca population is on the right track. The baby boom follows three years without a successful birth.

“This year we’ve had the youngest mother on record give birth, a 10-year-old, and three of the oldest. Now we’ve got a grandma having a baby. Forty is definitely the new 30 among the Southerns,” Harris said.

The latest birth raises Puget Sound’s orca population to 82, Harris said. The 83rd member is L-Pod whale Lolita, who is currently in captivity in Miami Seaquarium.

Agencies/Canadajournal




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