In this July 31, 2015 file photo, an orca swims past a recreational boat sailing just offshore in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Calf born to endangered Pacific Northwest orcas

Center for Whale Research cautions survival rates are only about 50 per cent

  • Jan. 11, 2019 3:10 p.m.

There’s a new calf among the population of critically endangered killer whales that live in the waters between Washington state and Canada.

Ken Balcomb, founding director of the Center for Whale Research, told The Seattle Times that staff first saw the calf Friday at the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

READ MORE: Orca’s ‘tour of grief’ over after carrying dead calf around for nearly 3 weeks

He said the youngster looks healthy, but survival rates for baby orcas are only about 50 per cent.

The whales have been starving amid a dearth of salmon. Vessel noise and pollution have complicated their plight. No calf born in the last three years has survived.

One whale drew international attention when she carried her dead calf on her head for 17 days last summer.

Two other orcas are known to be sick, and researchers fear they could die within months.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Regional Library branches offer curbside pick up

After two and a half months of being closed, people can once again check books out of the library

Community Camera: May 28, 2020

Mount Cheam towers over Agassiz one lovely spring day. The weather may… Continue reading

EDITORIAL: Why I wear a mask and you should, too

Editor Adam Louis says it’s about more than the practical

School board briefs: SD78 planning for June re-start of in-classroom learning

Board says goodbyes to trustee Koopman, Coquihalla school talks recycling, absenteeism

‘My spirit hurts, I want her home’: Family shares pain, fond memories at vigil for April Parisian

The 45-year-old Indigenous woman, who made her home in Spuzzum, has been missing since early April

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Police watchdog investigating death of man in Delta

Independent Investigations Office asking for witnesses to May 29 incident at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Most Read