SEATTLE (AP) — Scientists have determined the baby orca born into an imperiled Puget Sound pod is female.
The infant killer whale was first spotted late last month, breathing new hope for the southern resident killer whale population that spends time in the inland waters of Washington state and Canada. They are an endangered species in Canada and the U.S.
The baby became the 78th whale in the group, which had not had a successful birth in more than 2 years and lost a female of breeding age in December.
Center for Whale Research researchers have been shadowing the pod. They say the pod and baby orca, identified as J-50, were swimming on Wednesday in waters off British Columbia.
Researchers have not yet determined which whale in the pod is the baby's mother.