NOAA Fisheries West Coast – Science & Management
New L pod calf!!
Dr. Brad Hanson gives us this latest news from the orca research cruise as well as an update on location of L pod:
25 February update – We were about 15 miles west of Westport this morning when we resighted the whales and observed a new calf – L94 appears to be the mother. To recap since our previous posting, on 23 February we were off Cape Lookout, Oregon following the whales north. Yesterday, we continued following the whales north past the mouth to the Columbia River. Since L84 was tagged a week ago we have been with all of K pod but only part of L pod.
On 23 February Jon Scordino with Makah Fisheries sent us photos taken on 20 February of L25 off Cape Flattery, which indicated another part of L pod was in the general area.
This morning, shortly after we launched our Zodiac we observed L41, part of the group that includes L25, indicating that another group of L pod had joined up overnight – this is first time we have documented pods reuniting on the outer coast.
Fortunately the whales were very grouped up and within a few minutes we observed the new calf – with its unique orange-ish color on the white areas. The calf looked very energetic. We have five more days on the cruise and look forward to additional observations of the calf and collecting additional prey and fecal samples.