The baby boom began in late January with a female calf born to J-pod, followed by another in early February. A third calf was born to L-pod in late February.
With this latest addition, the population is now up to 81 individuals - a promising note for a group that was decimated by wild capture of its members in the 1960s and 70s for sale into captivity (the number is 82 counting Lolita, a captive orca living at the Miami Seaquarium). Toxic contamination and the decline of salmon still threaten this precarious population.
The other calves in the population seem to already be enjoying life on the open seas. Recent photos show at last one, the 4-month-old known as J50, jumping and flipping into the air with her mother, J16.