Baby boom makes eighth killer whale in endangered population off B.C. coast

VANCOUVER — The endangered killer whale population off British Columbia's coast is experiencing a baby boom.

Scientists say an eighth calf has been born to the so-called J-pod of southern resident killer whales that's been growing over the past year.

The Washington state-based Center for Whale Research says a suspected new baby was spotted on Dec. 1 near San Juan Island, but only confirmed the new addition after another sighting on Wednesday.

The calf was photographed in Haro Strait between San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island and is estimated to be two-and-a-half to three weeks old.

The centre says the last time the population grew so quickly was in 1977 with nine new whales, while most years only see an average of three babies.

The scientists believe the 84-member J-pod is journeying to the Strait of Georgia, where it spent an extended amount of time last December.

The Canadian Press

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