Happy birthday baby!
Orca researchers monitoring an endangered population in the Pacific Northwest stumbled upon a happy surprise to kick off the new year when they discovered the birth of a calf.
The newborn was spotted on December 30 by Ken Balcomb and Dave Ellifrit from the Center for Whale Research, who were out observing members of the J pod off the Gulf Islands in British Columbia.
The birth has again raised hope for the future survival of this group of orcas, otherwise known as the southern resident killer whales, who live in three distinct pods (J, K and L).
The calf doesn’t have a name yet, but has been as designated J50 and was reported to be healthy and energetic.