J-Pod Celebrates New Baby
Transient Orca calf and family. Photo taken by Spring Tide Crew with a zoom lens.

While the weather may be changing and we feel winter coming up fast, good news can be a welcome ray of sunshine.

This week we, once again, have the pleasure of celebrating a new life. J-Pod member, J-41 (aka “Eclipse”), has given birth to a brand-new calf, J-58!

Spotted near Sheringham, BC, the Centre for Whale Research witnessed Eclipse pushing something from underneath to the surface of the water using her rostrum (the ‘nose’). After several minutes of being unsure of what they were seeing, a small head poked above the surface – it was a calf! They had witnessed a new mother coaxing her newborn into drawing its first breath of life.

On young orcas the yellowy patches will brighten to white as it ages over it’s first year. Photo is property of SpringTide.

 

A moment like this is special to begin with but is cause for even more celebration considering the small population of the SRKW. Every new life is counted, recorded, and seen as a milestone for the at-risk species of Killer Whale. Over the last month two new calves have joined the family bringing their numbers up to 74 individuals.  Observers noticed the calf was boisterous and filled with energy providing even more hope that it will continue to thrive. While every life it one to be celebrated, researchers are hopeful for a baby girl as this will ensure the continuation of the matrilineal species. Females are valuable in creating family through reproductive means but also as matriarchs of their respective pods – ensuring the best decisions are made to the benefit of the family.

Whatever the gender is revealed to be, we are so excited at the prospect of a recovering population.

Welcome Home, J58!

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