J57 with his mom, J35. (Sara Hysong-Shimazu/Maya’s Legacy and the Pacific Whale Watch Association)

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

The calf born to an orca that carried her dead calf for more than two weeks is a boy, according to the Center for Whale Research in Washington State.

In a Wednesday (Sept. 23) news release, the center said J57, who was born on Sept. 4, is the viable second male calf born to J35, or Tahlequah. That first calf was born in 2010.

J35 made international headlines after carrying her dead calf for 17 days in 2018 in what was dubbed a “Tour of Grief” that spanned 1,600 kilometres around the Salish Sea.

According to the center, although female calves are key to keeping up the endangered Southern Resident killer whale population, any new births are welcome. The center said J57 “is robust and appears healthy.”

The Southern Resident killer whale population now numbers 73.

“We hope this calf is a success story. Regrettably, with the whales having so much nutritional stress in recent years, a large percentage of pregnancies fail, and there is about a 40 per cent mortality for young calves,” the center said in a statement.

The “J” in the whale names designates them as part of the J Pod, one of three that make up the now 73 strong population of the Southern Resident killer whales.

The J Pod is the one most likely to spend all year in the waters of the San Juan Islands in Washington State and the Southern Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver Island. The others are the K and L pods.

READ MORE: Mother orca that carried her dead calf for 17 days gives birth again


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Whales

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Based at the Cowichan Sportsplex, Playcare is a program aimed at promoting physical literacy skills through fun and exciting games and activities. (Citizen file)
Free after-school program offered at Cowichan Sportsplex

PacificSport holding Playcare twice a week

The Cowichan Steelheads’ Jesus Martinez (left) and the Cowichan 49ers’ Daryl Rodgers chase down the ball during Saturday night’s all-Cowichan clash at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan masters derby takes unexpected turn

Soccer commnity comes together in midst of battle

Kerry Park Islanders defenceman Taylor Webb emerges with the puck from a scrum along the boards during Saturday’s home game against the Saanich Predators. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Optimized results keep Kerry Park Islanders rolling

Several forwards hitting or nearing career highs just six games into season

Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Most Read