Calf born to en­dan­gered Pa­cific North­west or­cas

Penticton Herald - - WORLD -

SEAT­TLE — Re­searchers say there’s a new calf among the pop­u­la­tion of crit­i­cally en­dan­gered killer whales that live in the wa­ters be­tween Washington state and Canada.

Ken Bal­comb, found­ing di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for Whale Re­search, told The Seat­tle Times that staff first saw the calf on Fri­day at the east­ern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

He said the young­ster looks healthy, but sur­vival rates for baby or­cas are only about 50 per cent.

The whales have been starv­ing amid a dearth of salmon. Ves­sel noise and pol­lu­tion have com­pli­cated their plight. No calf born in the last three years has sur­vived.

One whale drew in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion when she car­ried her dead calf on her head for 17 days last sum­mer.

Two other or­cas are known to be sick, and re­searchers fear they could die within months.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

Re­searchers say there’s a new calf among the pop­u­la­tion of crit­i­cally en­dan­gered killer whales that live in the wa­ters be­tween Washington state and Canada. Staff first saw the calf on Fri­day at the east­ern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but sur­vival rates for baby or­cas are only about 50 per cent.

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