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09 September 2020

Mother Orca Tahlequah Has Had Her Baby

Tahlequah was spotted on Saturday with her newborn son or daughter swimming by her side! This is fabulous news and we are celebrating the safe arrival of this very special little orca. Tahlequah’s first baby was born two years ago but she only lived for half an hour. Tahlequah carried her dead baby for 17 days, grieving; it was a heart-breaking sight.

Every single baby orca is vital for the future of this shrinking community of only 72 southern resident orcas. The main threat to their survival is a problem with food supply. They eat chinook salmon, and unfortunately the salmon are declining in numbers and so the orcas cannot find enough to eat, thrive and reproduce successfully.

Until now, the southern residents have not had a successful pregnancy in three years – this year Tahlequah is the third orca to give birth which is wonderful news.  Fingers crossed all three babies will survive and grow, increasing the numbers of these highly endangered orcas.  In the meantime WDC is working with others to campaign for action such as dam removal to increase salmon numbers in the area.

Find out more about our work to protect the Southern Resident orcas.

J35 with her calf J57.
Tahlequah (J35) with her calf J57. Photo by Katie Jones, Center for Whale Research / Permit #21238

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