March 6, 2009 in City

Baby orca spotted in Sound

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

A baby orca, named J45, is seen in the Haro Strait in a photo released by the Center for Whale Research. J45 is the third Puget Sound baby killer whale spotted this year and was born to the J-pod, one of three pods that frequents the waters around the San Juan Islands.
(Full-size photo)

SEATTLE – The Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island says a new baby orca has been born, the third Puget Sound baby killer whale spotted this year.

Ken Balcomb, of the center, says the whale looks healthy. The baby orca, part of the J-pod family group and named J45, was first seen Tuesday in Haro Strait.

Two other baby orcas were also spotted in the past month. They were named J44 and L112.

Balcomb says it’s a good sign for a population that suffered a decline last year when seven whales went missing and are presumed dead.

But he says it doesn’t resolve the larger problem of lack of food that the whales still face.

Center for Whale Research: www.whaleresearch.com/

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