UPDATE: J58 is a girl!
Photograph of J58 courtesy of Jeanne Hyde.
CWR is pleased to confirm that J41's calf, J58, is female (see photograph). This approximately six-month-old calf was born in September 2020. Jeanne Hyde photographed J58 from shore yesterday; the calf was rolling, showing her underside, which revealed her gender.
New females in the Southern Resident killer whale community are critical to the population's sustainability.
We celebrate this news!
Date: September 25, 2020
Media Release: For immediate release
From: Center for Whale Research
Subject: Another New Calf in J Pod!
Another NEW calf in J Pod
J Pod's newest calf, born September 24, 2020 surfaces next to mother J41.
Photo credit: Talia Goodyear/Orca Spirit Adventures/Pacific Whale Watch Association
The Center for Whale Research confirms that another calf has been born into the Southern Resident killer whale community, and the mother is J41. CWR will eagerly await the whales' return to evaluate the calf's condition and hopefully determine its sex. J41's new calf is the second birth in J pod in September 2020.
We will reserve its alpha-numeric designation until it proves to be healthy when the pod returns to Salish Sea waters. Approximately 40% of newborn calves do not survive their neonatal first few weeks.
J41 was just ten years old when she gave birth to her first calf, J51 (male), in 2015.
We received photographs from the Pacific Whale Watch Association last evening (September 24), asking for ID confirmation.
From the information offered by Talia Goodyear and Lea Vanderwiel, naturalists aboard Orca Spirit Adventures, J41 may have given birth while their vessel was present. "It was an emotional time as we processed what was happening in front of us," said Vanderwiel. "It took a few minutes to realize what was actually happening, but then it was pure excitement realizing that it was a birth and the baby was very alive and boisterous."
CWR field staff, Mark Malleson, encountered the whales near Sheringham Point, British Columbia, later in the evening. The whales were spread out and foraging, and we could not locate J41 and new calf before dark.