J pod welcomes a new calf
Posted March 2, 2022 at 2:53 pm by San Juan Update
The Center for Whale Research shares some positive news from the Southern Resident orca J pod.
On March 1, we welcomed the meteorological first day of spring and a new calf in J pod.
We received word that J pod was nearby (off Landbank, San Juan Island), and there was possibly a new addition to the Southern Resident orca family.
The Center for Whale Research’s photo-ID expert, Dave Ellifrit, found the whales near Kelp Reef and confirmed the new addition to J pod. The calf was next to J37, with J47 and J40 nearby. CWR field staff last saw J37 during Encounter #12 on February 11, 2022, and she did not have a calf at that time. We estimate this baby was born within the past few days, given its “lumpy” physical nature.
Dave captured images of J37 with her new baby traveling in a tight group with other family members. CWR designates this newborn J59. J59’s sex is unknown at this time. Its size and shape are typical of a calf in good physical condition. J59 is the first calf born into J pod since September 2020, when J41 gave birth to J58 (female).
The new mother, J37 (born 2001), is part of the J14 matriline and has two siblings, J40 (female, born 2004) and J45 (male, born 2009). She was a young mother, only 11 years old when she gave birth to her first calf in 2012: J49 (male).
Photo credit: Center for Whale Research
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