Press Release –

Date: January 11, 2019

Center for Whale Research 

Subject: The Southern Resident killer whale population is now 75

Read Orca Calf Offers Hope for a Fading Group in the Pacific Northwest by Jacey Fortin in The New York Times

Video footage by CWR's Jane Cogan (and Tom Cogan); CWR's Melissa Pinnow and Dave Ellifrit are interviewed. 

On January 10, 2019, TV stations in Seattle aired live aerial footage of several groups of killer whales in Puget Sound near Seattle, and discerning viewers were able to see a very small whale among them. CWR researcher, Melisa Pinnow, was able to see that L pod individuals were in one of the groups with a new baby. It was associated with a female, L77. The whales were still in Puget Sound by nightfall. At 5:45 am this morning they were heard on the CWR sponsored hydrophone at Bush Point in Admiralty Inlet. We dispatched a research team from San Juan Island, and they encountered the whales exiting Admiralty Inlet at 9:50 am with their new baby! The mother is L77, a 31-year old mother of two known calves. Her first known calf was born in 2010 and died the same year, and her second known calf is L119, a female born in 2012. The new calf with her will be designated L124, sex unknown at this time. 

Approximately 40% of newborn calves do not survive their first few years, but we hope that this one makes it to maturity, especially if it is female. The Southern Resident killer whale population is now 75.

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