Baby Boom in Tofino!

The Pacific Northwest is experiencing an exciting baby boom – an orca baby boom! Five baby killer whales have been born between last December and June of this year – terrific news for whale watchers.

Baby orca births:

  1. December – orca mama J-16 “Slick” (42 year old) gave birth to baby girl J-50
  2. February – orca mama J-19 “Schachi” (36 years old) gave birth to a baby boy J-51
  3. February – orca mama L-94 “Calypso” (20 years old) gave birth to baby L-121
  4. March – orca mama J-36 “Alki” (daughter of J-16) gave birth to baby J-52
  5. June – transient orca baby T-121-A1 is born
Transient orca mom catches a harbor seal and shows it to her baby.  Photo credit: Jim Stiles
The orca calves are in jolly good baby whale company as the waters around Tofino are home to many baby grey whales and baby humpbacks as well!  Both grey whales and humpbacks give birth to babies in the warmer waters around Mexico and Hawaii over the winter season and travel north coming through Tofino during the spring and summer to feed.  In fact, up to 20,000 gray whales pass by and hang around the waters off Tofino each year.  This is why the National Geographic’s 2015 Reader’s Choice winner for top spring trip is to go whale watching in Tofino.On many of our aquatic safaris, we often visit the wildlife “nursery” to observe sea otter mothers play with their pups in the kelp fields or to spy on baby black bear cubs learn how to fish with mama bear.   Check us out at and come out on a trip to the baby nursery.

In the meantime, watch West Coast Aquatic Safaris’ ambassador, Big Blue, do his happy dance celebrating the baby boom…

Big Blue Celebrating the Baby Boom
#BigBlue celebrating the Baby Boom

Neat baby whale facts:
  • The gestation period for orcas is between 15-18 months
  • Orca newborns are approximately two-metres in length and weigh around 400 pounds
  • The gestation period for grey whales is 13.5 months
  • Grey whale calves are approximately 4 metres in length at birth
  • The gestation period for humpback whales is approximately 12 months
  • Humpback calves are between 3-4.5 metres long at birth, and weighs up to 1 tonne

Whale Safaris
Whale Safaris





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