SEATTLE (AP) — Researchers say there’s a new calf among the population of endangered killer whales that live in the waters between Washington state and Canada.
Ken Balcomb, director of the Center for Whale Research, says his staff first saw the calf Friday morning at the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
He said the youngster looks healthy, but survival rates for baby orcas are only about 50 percent.
The whales have been starving for lack of salmon. Vessel noise and pollution have complicated their plight. No calf born in the last three years has survived.
Two other orcas are known to be sick, and researchers fear they could die within months.