New orca calf born into L pod

The Center for Whale Research reported Wednesday that a new orca calf was born into the L pod.

CWR said they sent two researchers to confirm the information after learning that the J, K and L pods were in the Haro Strait.

A researcher captured images showing the calf, L125, with fetal folds, which indicated that there was a recent birth, the organization said. “It is nicely filled out and appears to be a perfectly normal little calf,” said Dave Ellifrit, a CWR photo-ID expert.

The new calf’s mother is reported to be L86, making it her fourth offspring, researchers said.

Drone photographs were captured of L125 which indicates that its age is between four weeks and six weeks, researchers added.

CWR said the calf has one living sibling, L106, which was born in 2005. L86 had also given birth to two other calves, L112 and L120. Both died. L112 was born in 2009 and killed in 2012, and L120 was born and died in 2014.

This is the first calf born into the L pod since January 2019.

According to CWR, the last time it encountered southern resident orcas in the Salish Sea was Jan. 20, 2021.

The southern resident killer whales are comprised of J, K and L pods.