Whale watchers witness rare orca birth

BabyOrca

A Victoria Whale watching company and their guests were treated to a rare sight on Thursday -- the birth of an endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale.

It's the 2nd calf born to a member of J-Pod this month. 

Talia Goodyear is a Marine Naturalist with "Orca Spirit Adventures." She says the group spotted a lone whale in the water, which isn't normal:

" It's fairly unusual to see those southern residents all by their selves, especially the females. And so it was a bit suspicious to us, so we stuck around."

They saw the whale pushing something in the water -- and thought perhaps they had misidentified the whale, and maybe it was a "Biggs" orca playing with a fresh kill.  

But then they thought the female was entangled in fishing gear.  However, after looking closer they realized it was a baby whale!

"Complete excitement at the end. I mean we literally ended up crying, and eventually going up and telling our guests, and watching the whales as they swam closer. And we shut the engines off. It ended up being, kind of, tears for everybody."

Goodyear says the calf appeared healthy and active.  If it survives, it will bring the endangered pod's numbers up to 74.