Well, it's official! A new calf has been confirmed in the Southern Resident Killer Whales, bringing their numbers to 78 animals. It is believed that J16 gave birth to the new calf just a few days ago as the calf was first spotted near San Juan Island today. 42 year old J16, or Slick, is a seasoned mother, having already raised 5 other calves. We hope that with her knowledge the newest member of J Pod survives the first crucial year of life. The sex of the baby orca will take time to determine, as we have to wait for the little one to breach and a perfectly timed photo to happen. Often, whales are not sexed for the first year or so of life.
The birth of J50 comes at a crucial time having just lost J32 due to complications during pregnancy and L120 just a month after being born. A new SRKW is a high note to end 2014 and hopefully signals many more wonderful things to come in 2015!
Congrats to J16 and welcome to the Salish Sea J50!