Orca calf born to en­dan­gered Puget Sound pod

Tri-City Herald - - News -

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 his staff first saw the calf 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 per­cent.

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.

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