Great news for the southern resident orcas, a J-Pod member is pregnant!
This is according to recent reports from a whale watcher who captured photos of the whale.
Southern resident killer whales (SRKW) represent the smallest of four resident communities within the Northeastern portion of North America Pacific Ocean.
It is the only Orca population listed under the Endangered Species List.
Brittany Philbin, who caught the amazing sight on camera, said the southern residents started swimming in the area on Friday.
“She breached like 20-30 feet offshore from me,” said Philbin. “I swung my camera to the right, snapped two photos and thought, ‘Oh crap, that photo is going to be blurry.’”
Much to her surprise, the photos she took were amazing!
“It took a monumental task to figure out the ID of this whale. There was a lot of people involved. She’s then been confirmed pregnant by a couple other researchers” said Philbin.
Ken Balcomb with the Center for Whale Research said that he could not officially confirm the orca was pregnant but says based on recent photos and reliable observers, the whale looks “very pregnant.”
J46, also known as Star, turns 11 years old next month. This pregnancy would also mark her firstborn calf.