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Scientists rejoice as new Biggs killer whale calf seen in Salish Sea

The new calf will join a curious, matriarchal pod
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A Biggs calf was seen near the T46B2 pod of killer whales on Dec. 5. They are born orange, which is a mystery to scientists. (Eagle Wing Tours/Tomis Filipovic)

A new Biggs killer whale calf was spotted near the T0468B pod on Dec. 5, according to a tweet by the Pacific Whale Watch Association.

The calf was spotted next to pod member Akela, and has an orange tint that cannot be explained by science. Possible explanations include jaundice, thinner blubber making blood vessels more visible and staining from amniotic fluid.

The T0468B pod is led by Raksha, who is the leader and has been seen swimming around the Salish Sea since 1988.

Raksha has five daughters, with Akela being one of them, and four grandchildren, including the new addition.

According to another tweet on X.com, there have been sightings of Biggs whales in the Salish Sea every single day and have almost been seen every day since March 12.

The Orca Behaviour Institute reported on Facebook that a whale has been sighted around Vancouver Island for 260 days.

The sightings of Biggs killer whales over November were above the 2018-2022 five-year average, where they were present in the Salish Sea for 20 days but have been present for 30 days this year.

According to the Orca Behaviour Institute, there is speculation that a few whales will hang around Vancouver Island all year.

The new calf will join a curious, matriarchal pod that has called the Salish Sea home since 1988.

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About the Author: Thomas Eley

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