A Tofino whale-watching company says there is a new calf among the population of critically-endangered southern resident killer whales.
On Thursday, Tofino Whale Centre and Jamie’s Whale Watching Station reported orcas off Lennard Lighthouse. The Tofino Whale Centre determined it was the J pod and the whale watching companies decided to stop watching the whales as they were southern resident killer whales.
The Tofino Whale Centre took photos of the whales to send to DFO and the Center for Whale Research. One of the employees saw a brand new calf with J41, nicknamed Eclipse. Eclipse was seen with her first calf, (J51), back in February 2015.
According to the Tofino Whale Centre, the new calf was also seen with J19. The centre said the calf is still so young, its fetal folds are showing and there is still orange colouring where its white patches will eventually be.
The Center for Whale Research confirmed they heard about the new calf but they are awaiting more pictures.
The last new calf, L124, was born to southern resident orca L77 and was spotted in January. This new calf would bring the southern resident population to 76.