Sad news for a group of Southern Resident killer whales as a calf is missing and presumed dead.
Michael Harris of the Pacific Whale Watch Centre says the calf was part of an orca baby boom, where 9 calves were born to the pod in just over a year.
While the baby boom was great news for the orca population, the pod faces a challenge to stay alive.
“We’re hoping this population turns a corner, but my oh my, this underscores the need that we have to get some fish in the water, get salmon in the water, and help this population recover.”
Southern Resident killer whales are considered endangered, due to their low reproductive rates and high mortality.
“You have to remember that there’s a 50% mortality rate in any wild orca population. So, in fact, we’ve been very fortunate with these batch of babies that we’ve had in the last year.”
J-55, the name of the calf who is missing, was the most recent calf born to the pod and part of an orca baby boom where 9 calfs were born to the group in 14 months.