February 26th, 2024

Christmas baby for endangered southern resident killer whales

By The Canadian Press on December 28, 2023.

A new calf has been born to the J pod of endangered southern resident killer whales, as shown in this handout image from Tuesday Dec. 26, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Center for Whale Research-Maya Sears **MANDATORY CREDIT**

A new calf has been born to the J pod of British Columbia’s endangered southern resident killer whales.

The U.S.-based Center for Whale Research says the calf was first spotted in Washington state’s Puget Sound on Dec. 26, and was a newborn since it wasn’t with the pod when it was observed three days earlier.

It says in a statement the calf was seen near an adult female known as J40, making her the likely mother, something researchers hoped to confirm.

The sex of the calf isn’t known.

Salmon-eating southern resident killer whales live in the Salish Sea off British Columbia and Washington in three pods known as J, K and L.

An annual census by the Center for Whale Research put the southern resident population at 75 orcas this year, including 25 in J pod.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 28, 2023.

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