Once given only a 50 percent chance of survival, the newest additions to the endangered southern resident community of orcas appear to be thriving.
The Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) has observed two three-month old babies, J50 and J51, in the waters around the San Juan Islands breaching and frolicking — and just plain having fun.
"Doing what baby orcas do," said Michael Harris, Executive Director of the PWWA in an update.
"The two JPod calves are looking great — in fact, downright athletic. Both of them seem to be leaping for joy out there. The breaches we're seeing are pretty spectacular. These little whales are really getting some air beneath them."
The birth of J50 was a cause for celebration for conservationists monitoring the endangered southern resident orca pod.
Prior to two recent births in JPod and one in LPod, there hadn't been a successful birth in the community in almost three years.
The photo essay at the top of this story features some spectacular images of J50 at play. Enjoy.