The following release comes from the Center for Whale Research
October 24, 2015
A new calf was spotted in J pod on Saturday, October 24th!
The calf was first seen in Haro Strait early in the day and later photographed by CWR staff in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The new calf was seen closely traveling with a 38 year old female, J17, who is the presumed mother. J17 has previously had three offspring: two daughters, J28 and J35 now adult, with two grand offspring J46 and J47 respectively, and a son J44, born in 2009.
The new calf is designated by the Center for Whale Research as J53. The previous sighting of J17 without the calf was on the 15th of October, meaning that the calf was no more than 10 days old at the time it was first seen on Saturday.
In the forty year history of ORCA SURVEY, a long-term photo-identification study of this whale population the greatest number of calves born in a year was 9 in 1977, and there were none born that survived in 2013 or 2014.
We hope this year’s ‘baby-boom’ represents a turn-around in what has been a negative population trend in recent years.