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

A case of COVID has been detected within School District 33. (School District 33 photo)
UPDATE: Case of COVID confirmed at a Chilliwack school

Fraser Health has not informed parents but district sent letter to parents Friday

Record-low returns of salmon have been recorded on the Fraser River in recent years. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
Time for Indigenous-led salmon strategy on the Lower Fraser, says Alliance

‘Closures of First Nations, commercial and recreational salmon fishing’ have huge impact: LFFA

The City of Chilliwack says there’s too much spitting going on at the Sardis Sports Complex. (City of Chilliwack photo)
Too much spitting a problem at Chilliwack’s Sardis Sports Complex

The City of Chilliwack is asking the minor hockey community to ease up on expectorating

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region over the last week.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
CHARTS: Weekly COVID-19 case counts continue to rise in Fraser Valley

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region.

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’ making second Abbotsford court appearance on Monday

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

This Halloween display by a Maple Ridge family, seen here Oct. 31 in the 23600 block of 119 Avenue, has been the target of social media complaints that it is racially insensitive. (Black Press Media)
Halloween gallows display by B.C. family slammed as racially insensitive by social media critics

Refers to medieval times, not Black lynchings, says man responsible

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

Hay bales can be donated to Critter Care Wildlife Society. (Critter Care/Special to The Star)
Straw bales used for Halloween decor can be donated to Critter Care Wildlife Society

Langley animal facility said they are always need in of fresh bedding

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Most Read