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New Bigg's orca calf spotted near Victoria

New orca calf spotted

There’s a new baby orca swimming in the Salish Sea.

The Bigg’s orca calf is estimated to be a few weeks old and was photographed Tuesday near Victoria, according to the Pacific Whale Watch Association.

The calf was seen swimming with the T046B pod, and closest to 15-year-old T046B2, also known as Akela. The pod has been in the Salish Sea since 1988, according to scientists.

The Pacific Whale Watch Association said orca calves are born with an orange tint, although scientists aren’t exactly sure of the reason. Possible explanations include jaundice, staining from amniotic fluid or a thinner blubber layer making blood vessels more visible.

Bigg’s orcas have become a common sight in the Salish Sea as far north as Campbell River and south to Puget Sound. The Orca Behavior Institute said sightings have happened every day in the Salish Sea since March 12.



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