Orca baby number 9! Another Southern Resident Killer Whale calf born

We’re using that photo with permission of
NOAA Fisheries–West Coast, which just reported late today that its researchers found another baby with J-Pod in Puget Sound: “Using photos taken by the researchers, the Center for Whale Research confirmed this is a new calf, designated J55. The calf was in close proximity to both J14 and J37, so we don’t know who the mother is just yet, and it may take a few encounters before we know. The calf seems to be just a few days old and in good condition.” NOAA had sad news too – what appeared to be a dead newborn calf spotted with J31, a 20-year-old female they say “has never successfully calved … It is estimated that at least 50% of calves do not reach their first birthday, so unfortunately this sad event is not unusual.” Before J55, the last orca-baby announcement was five weeks ago, when we got word of J54. This one is the ninth calf for the Southern Resident Killer Whales in a little more than a year.

2 Replies to "Orca baby number 9! Another Southern Resident Killer Whale calf born"

  • Eric January 20, 2016 (3:57 pm)

    Any explanation why the Southern Resident Orcas have been getting busy so much recently?

  • herongrrrl January 20, 2016 (6:21 pm)

    In brief…an orca’s gestation period is about a year and a half.  The babies that were born between Dec. 2014 and now were conceived during a period of record Chinook salmon runs on the coast…at the same time that Chinook runs here in Puget Sound were very low. The orcas went where the food was, and apparently a good time was had by all. ;)

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