Calf born to endangered orcas off B.C. coast, another found dead
A new orca calf, dubbed J55, is spotted in the waters of Puget Sound. Mon., Jan. 18, 2016. (Courtesy NOAA)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, January 19, 2016 6:09PM PST
A group of killer whales that frequent B.C. waters have welcomed a new calf into the fold.
Researchers spotted the baby orca, dubbed J55, swimming with the J pod of southern resident killer whales in Puget Sound Monday.
It’s unclear which whale the baby belongs to, but the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it appears to be just days old and in good condition.
But it’s not all good news for the pod, as researchers observed a 20-year-old female orca pushing around a deceased calf on the same trip.
Experts say at least half of all orca calves do not survive their first year.
The endangered southern resident population experienced a baby boom in 2015, with eight new calves born in total.