Newborn orca calf reported in Puget Sound

BREMERTON — A newborn orca calf has been reported off the west side of San Juan Island in the Puget Sound.

The Center for Whale Research reports the new calf was first spotted midday Monday among the adults of J pod, one of three killer whale pods that frequent Puget Sound.

The Kitsap Sun reported that the calf was swimming with its mother, an 11-year-old female. Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research says the calf is breathing regularly and looks healthy.

The calf is believed to be the great-granddaughter of the oldest orca in the local pods, a whale believed to be 100 years old.

The Puget Sound’s three pods, also known as Southern Residents, are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The latest birth brings the number of orcas in all three pods to 86.

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