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caption: Newborn orca calf J59 swimming next to its mother J37, March 1, 2022. 
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Newborn orca calf J59 swimming next to its mother J37, March 1, 2022.
Credit: Dave Ellifrit / Center for Whale Research

New baby orca for Puget Sound's J Pod

The Salish Sea's Southern Resident orca family has a big announcement — it's a baby!

The Center for Whale Research spotted J Pod on March 1 near the San Juan Islands and confirmed that there was a new addition swimming alongside the group.

The newborn is estimated to have been born within the past few days. It has been given the very adorable name of "J59." Little else is known at this time, but observers say it appears to be healthy.

It is the first calf to be born in J Pod since September 2020.

The mother, J37, was swimming nearby. J37 was last spotted in early February. She was born in 2001. This is her second calf; her first calf (J49) was born in 2012.

Scroll through photos of J59 above.