UPI.com

February 13, 2015 6:18 PM

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UPI.com

The new calf, estimated to be just a week old, makes for an astronomical increase in the pod's reproductive rate -- a rate that had been stagnant for a worryingly lengthy amount of time. Before the first newborn calf, J-50, was spotted in December, the shrinking pod of orcas hadn't successfully birthed a new member in more than two years. Now, the group boasts 26 whales.

Scientists with the Center for Whale Research confirmed the presence of J-51 this week after spotting the baby orca swimming alongside pod member J-19 and J-41. Baby whales are rather helpless in their first few months in the water and must use the supportive wake of their family members to swim. Re...

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