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the miracle of life

Researchers celebrate the birth of a baby orca in Puget Sound

A baby orca discovered in the Puget Sound is the newest calf to be born to the L pod in the waters off of Washington.

It is the first baby born to this population since 2012, The Associated Press reports. The newborn — it's not yet known if it is a boy or a girl — was spotted on Saturday swimming with two adult females, likely its mother and aunt. Researchers believe the calf is about a week old.

The number of orcas is low due to pollution and a lack of food, which is why this calf being born is such a celebration. Now there are 79 orcas in the Puget Sound, but there could be more if certain things are changed. "The resident orcas that eat salmon are declining because the salmon population is also endangered," Ken Balcomb with the Center for Whale Research told AP. "What we have to do is get really serious about wild salmon restoration and recovery, which is the food supply for these guys."