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

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

(Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay fire reach ‘modern’ service agreement

Negotiations to update 1980 firefighting agreement began in 2015, stalled in 2020

Members of the Saanich Fire Department can be seen working to put out a fire in the 4500-block of Chattertown Way on Jan. 26. (Saanich Fire/Twitter)
UPDATED: One cat killed, another resuscitated following blaze in Saanich townhouse

Neighbours evacuated following fire on Chatterton Way, third cat still missing

Air Canada /Jazz flight 8081 from Vancouver to Victoria on Jan. 22 had a confirmed cases of COVID-19 onboard, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control. (Black Press Media file photo)
An independent review is underway at the Royal BC Museum after employees called out systemic, individual racism at the institution. (Twitter/RBCM)
Royal BC Museum faces allegations of systemic racism, toxic work environment

Formal investigation, survey and training launched at museum

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District’s wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point. (Photo courtesy CRD)
PHOTOS: Check out Greater Victoria’s new wastewater treatment facilities

Long-awaited project has been up and running since late 2020

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Five big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19:

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Christopher Anthony Craig Dick is wanted by the Port Alberni RCMP in connection to multiple investigations. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Vancouver Island RCMP seek man connected to assault investigations

Christopher Dick, 36, was recently in the North Cowichan and Duncan region

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

Tahsis mayor Martin Davis stands with an old-growth tree in McKelvie Creek Valley. The village of Tahsis signed a Letter of Understanding with forestry company Western Forest Products to establish McKelvie watershed as a protected area. Photo courtesy, TJ Watt.
Landmark deal expected to protect Tahsis watershed from logging

Tahsis and WFP agree on letter of understanding to preserve McKelvie Creek Valley within TFL 19

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Most Read