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Tahlequah the orca has a new calf

J35 with her new calf J57.
Tahlequah (J35) with her calf J57. Photo by Katie Jones, Center for Whale Research / Permit #21238

Tahlequah (J35), an orca from the Southern Resident population, has given birth to a new calf (J57). They were seen swimming together at the end of last week by scientists from the Center for Whale Research.

In 2018 Tahlequah made international headlines after she was seen swimming over 1000 miles over a period of two weeks with the body of her previous calf after the young whale died.

Tahlequah belongs to the J pod of endangered Southern Resident orcas that live in the waters stretching between Washington State in the US and British Columbia in Canada. Along with the K and L pods, the total population is currently only 73 orcas.

There are many threats the whales face, in particular the loss of salmon, their favourite prey, in the waters where they live. Every calf is an important addition to the population, though the mortality rate for orca calves is around 40%.

So far, the new calf appears to be healthy and precocious, swimming vigorously alongside Tahlequah.

Find out more about our work to protect the Southern Resident orcas.

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