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Tue., July 12, 2011, 9:16 a.m.

New calf swimming with orcas in Puget Sound

A newborn orca calf has been spotted among one of the pods of killer whales returning to the Puget Sound in July 2011.  (Associated Press)
A newborn orca calf has been spotted among one of the pods of killer whales returning to the Puget Sound in July 2011. (Associated Press)

MARINE MAMMALS -- A newborn calf has been spotted among one of the pods of killer whales returning to the Puget Sound.

The Kitsap Sun reports the baby orca was seen Wednesday, when a majority of the three pods of killer whales returned to the San Juan Islands, as they do each year.

Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research says all the adult orcas in the three pods seem to be accounted for, including one whale that had not been seen since February.

Balcomb says the newborn calf is male and still had his umbilical cord attached on Wednesday. That means he is only days old. His birth brings the total Puget Sound or Southern Resident orca population to 88. The whales are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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