Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Baby Orca Born to Young Mothers From Jeff Friedman, BlueVoice board member This summer there have been 2 orcas born to first time mothers, and both mothers are 11 years old which is definitely on the young side for a first calf. I believe the average age for a first calf is 14-15. They are from different communities – one from the Southern Residents, one from the Northern. A thought I had today – we’ve put a lot of hormones and other chemicals in our food chain that are causing people to sexually mature younger. Wonder if this is an early indicator of this stuff working its way through the oceans, into salmon, into orcas. Something to watch over time, perhaps. Ironically, these 2 calves may have a better chance of survival as first borns with fewer years of built up toxins being offloaded. The births are: 11 year old Southern Resident J37 gave birth to J49 on 8/6/12. 11 year old Northern Resident A75 gave birth earlier this summer to her first calf. Great blog post from Center for Whale Research on the birth and reports of a baby welcoming bonding ritual: