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Baby Orca Spotted Off The Seattle Coast Brings Hope To The Beleaguered Orca Population

Puget Sound, near Seattle, finally has something to celebrate! A newborn calf was spotted in aerial footage Jan. 10th, and confirmed in person on the 11th! You can read more about this calf at Live Science!

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    Baby Orca Spotted!

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    The gender of the orca is still unknown, The Center for Whale Research (CWR) released a statement, "The calf appeared to be about 3 weeks old and was bouncing around between [other L pod orcas] L25, L41, L77 L85 and L119." L77, a 31-year old female orca in the "L" pod, is believed to be the mother as a CWR researcher saw the baby orca swimming close to her.


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    Uncertain future

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    The orca population has been on a steady decline since 2011. Last year, the southern resident population lost a newborn and a 3-year-old female, which reduced their number to 74 — the lowest in 34 years, according to the Marine Mammal Commission. You might recall the tragic tale of the mother who pushed the corpse around for 17 days before finally abandoning the body her dead baby.

    This newborn orca is a light of hope but faces an uncertain future — about 40 percent of killer whale newborns don't survive past their first year, according to CWR's statement.

    Here's to hoping this newborn, dubbed L124, grows steadily healthy and strong!

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