Orca J-16 gives birth to fifth calf

NOAA's NW Fisheries Science Center and the Center for Whale Research have confirmed that 39-year-old J16 (Slick) gave birth to a new baby calf in Puget Sound on Dec. 17, probably only a few hours judging from the fresh fetal folds, before being seen and photographed by veteran field researcher Candice Emmons of NWSFC.

This makes J16's fifth calf since her first, J26, was born in 1991. She was the 16th J pod orca photographed and identified by Mike Bigg in 1972, and is among the oldest whose age is known exactly. Her matriline is known as the J7's after J16's late mother.

Photos of the family can be found by scrolling down the Center for Whale Research matriline guide.


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