Meet What May Be the Happiest Baby Orca on Earth
The excited young calf, named J50 by the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA), was spotted swimming with her family in the Salish Sea near British Columbia.
Photographer Clint Rivers captured an incredibly stunning image of her with her family in the waters between San Juan Island and Vancouver Island over Independence Day weekend.
It had been almost three years since the last successful birth for this population. Despite protection in both the U.S. and Canada, they have yet to recover from the trauma of captures that took place decades ago, and their survival continues to hang in the balance.
Michael Harris, executive director of PWWA, told Global News of the world’s happiest baby orca, “Her energy is astounding –- I guess not unlike my small kids. She’s constantly leaping into the air, and often curling up and doing belly flops.”
Seeing J50 thriving and experiencing the joy of being wild and free with her family isn’t just heartmelting, it’s really good news for these orcas.
These recent photos were captured in the Salish Sea earlier this month by photographer Clint Rivers.