J47 (left to right), mother J35 and new baby orca J57 were spotted in the Salish Sea on Saturday, Sept. 5. (Sarah McCullagh photo)

‘I definitely cried’: Mother orca that carried her dead calf for 17 days gives birth again

Baby J57 spotted in B.C. waters on Saturday

An orca that carried her dead calf for 17 days has given birth to a new baby.

J35, the latest addition to the southern resident killer whales, was spotted on Saturday, confirmed by the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA).

“I definitely cried,” said Sarah McCullagh, professionally trained captain and naturalist for San Juan Safaris of Friday Harbor in a release.

“We first saw J35 and her son J47 off by themselves away from the main group, then as we watched we quickly realized that there was a very small fin tucked in next to them.”

McCullaugh was the first to spot the new baby orca during a greeting ceremony between J and L pods on Saturday.

Researchers from the Center for Whale Research confirm J35 was born to 22-year-old mother J35, Tahlequah, who carried her dead calf through the Salish Sea for nearly three weeks in 2018.

“I was obviously elated, so excited for J35 after the incredible loss she suffered a couple of years ago,” said McCullagh. “But also for the Southern Resident community as a whole.”

Researchers don’t yet know whether the calf is a boy or a girl.

The PWWA reminds vessels to keep their distance from the new calf and the critically endangered south resident killer whales.

In 2019, the Canadian government implemented a mandate for boats in the Salish Sea to maintain a 400-metre distance from orcas in an effort to lessen the effects of disturbance and underwater noise pollution.

In 2020, foraging and extended sanctuary zones were implemented, including an area based fishery closure for critical habitat areas in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and near the Gulf Islands.

– with files from Nina Grossman

READ MORE: Rare white orca spotted near Sooke two weeks after hunting in Alaska


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

OrcaVictoria

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

Just Posted

Trail Smoke Eaters to host Cranbrook Bucks to open exhibition season

The BCHL announces a 100-plus game exhibition season

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Trail Kiwanians wrap up $10,000 hospital donation

The new KBRH emergency department opened its doors a few weeks ago

LeRoi Foundation donates to hospital in Trail

$5,000 comes to KBRH via Community Foundations Canada and ECSF

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

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

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Most Read