Newborn orca

L124, the youngest-living Southern Resident Kille Whale, friskily following L25, the oldest-living SRKW. The L pod divides its time between Puget South and the waters of the outer coast — especially the Chinook salmon-hunting grounds at the mouth of the Columbia.

From the Center for Whale Research:

On Jan. 10, 2019, TV stations in Seattle aired live aerial footage of several groups of killer whales in Puget Sound near Seattle, and discerning viewers were able to see a very small whale among them. Center for Whale Research researcher, Melisa Pinnow, was able to see that L pod individuals were in one of the groups with a new baby. It was associated with a female, L77.

The whales were still in Puget Sound by nightfall. At 5:45 a.m. Friday morning they were heard on the CWR-sponsored hydrophone at Bush Point in Admiralty Inlet. We dispatched a research team from San Juan Island, and they encountered the whales exiting Admiralty Inlet at 9:50 a.m. with their new baby!

The mother is L77, a 31-year old mother of two known calves. Her first known calf was born in 2010 and died the same year, and her second known calf is L119, a female born in 2012. The new calf with her will be designated L124, sex unknown at this time.

Approximately 40 percent of newborn calves do not survive their first few years, but we hope that this one makes it to maturity, especially if it is female. The Southern Resident killer whale population is now 75.

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(1) comment


Hey Chinook Observer: caption under photo reads “...youngest living Southern Resident Kille Whale”. Fix the “r”?

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