Two members of the southern resident killer whale population were spotted with their calves near Vancouver Island and appeared in good health.
U.S.-based Center for Whale Research (CWR) says J31 with her new calf J56 was found near Carmanah Point Light Station Sunday, which is on the southwest corner of Vancouver Island.
Senior zodiac skipper at Prince of Whales Whale Watching Mark Malleson and Joe Zelweitro also observed L77 and her offspring, L124.
The centre says members of all three local pods, J, K and L, were present and “all continued on a line towards the Vancouver Island shoreline spread from the mouth of the Nitinat River to slightly west of Carmanah.”
The orcas were seen actively foraging for close to an hour within a mile from shore, before heading southeast.
The sighting comes shortly after CWR confirmed three deaths, one from each pod, bringing the southern resident population down to 73.
The orcas are listed as a species at risk in Canada.