There’s a new family member among the Southern Resident Orcas.
On Saturday, the Center for Whale Research sighted the group known as K-Pod northeast of Race Rocks near Victoria.
The center says field biologist Mark Malleson and his colleagues confirmed that Orca K20 was with a new calf.
The newborn has been designated K45.
According to the center, the size and shape are typical of a calf in good physical condition, but it’s not known at this time if the newborn is male or female.
K45 is the first calf born into K Pod since 2011.
Its mother, K20 was born in 1986.
The Center for Whale Research says during the 1960s and 1970s, 45 Orcas from the Southern Resident population were captured for marine parks and more than a dozen others died during attempts to capture them.
Only 71 of the Southern Resident Orcas remained in 1974.
In the late 1990s, their population grew to 98 but has since dropped to 73, as of the last count in December of 2021.
The Center for Whale Research began another Orca census of Southern Residents in the Salish Sea on July 1.