The Center for Whale Research says it has discovered a new calf in L pod west of San Juan island. The new calf, designated L111, is the 6th calf of the mother, nicknamed Marina and designated L47. The new calf was first sighted on Tuesday.
L111, so far unnamed, joins sisters Moonlight (L83) and Muncher (L91) and nephew L110 as the newest member of the L21 subgroup.
Marina, at age 34, is not only a new mother but also a grandmother. Her last calf, L107, was born in the summer of 2005 but did not survive more than a few months. Based on L111's size and the apparent fetal folds, Center for Whale Research staff believe the calf to have been be only a few hours old when discovered.
Also, Marina was observed by Center staff without a calf in the evening of August 11, additionally indicating that L111 was born less than 24 hours before its discovery. The total number of individuals in L pod has yet to be determined this year, however the Center has proposed that there may be at least two L pod whales missing.
Therefore, this is an important event in L pod and the Center staff is hopeful that the calf will survive. As of December 2007, there are 43 whales in L pod. If L111 returns to the San Juan Islands next summer, it will be officially counted in the population.