Puget Sound’s southern resident killer whales have another new addition: a one-week-old baby orca.
A newborn whale was spotted Thursday in the Salish Sea, according to the Center for Whale Research. The new baby is a part of the J-pod, and the presumed mother is 36-year-old J19, known as Shachi. The calf was also traveling with J19’s 10-year-old daughter, J41, known as Eclipse.
Scientists spotted the newborn, which will be designated J51, traveling with the pod in the Haro Strait toward Swanson Channel, according to the center.
The J-pod had previously been near the west entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and was traveling toward the interior waters when it was spotted.
The newborn brings the number of whales in the J-pod to 26 and the total number of the endangered whales to 79.
The calf is the second newborn in the J-pod in the past two months. A newborn female, now known as J50, was spotted on Dec. 30. J50 was also spotted with the pod Thursday.