Newborn orca calf spotted in Pacific

Researchers confirm killer whale born near Puget Sound

By Dana Maule - Associate Producer

SEATTLE - A new baby orca calf was spotted near Puget Sound on Thursday. KOMO News video confirms the newborn orca, who is only a few weeks old was among a population of killer whales swimming between Washington and Canada.

Ken Balcomb, founding director of the Center for Whale Research, says the calf has about a 60 percent chance of survival but at the present moment is very healthy. Killer whales are a critically endangered species. That means the orca population has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

In July of 2018, the Smithsonian Magazine reported the population of Pacific northwest orcas was at a 30-year low, based on an annual census. The census report that year had not documented the birth of any orca calf for a three-year period.

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