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Submitted on
January 27, 2013
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2.4 MB


146 (who?)
Birth by taslishaw Birth by taslishaw
I was fortunate enough to be in the presence of the southern resident orcas when a new baby (J49) was born. It was truly unique, I doubt I will ever witness anything like it again. The whole pod (15+ orcas) seemed to be very excited and very curious of their new family member, and were taking turns carrying the calf on their head and passing it around, helping to support the less than 3 hours old baby at the surface.

This illustration depicts J2 "Granny" and her family. Granny became a great great grandmother with the birth of J49.
Clockwise from top: J49, J14 "Samish" (J49's grandmother), J45 "Se-yi-chn" (J49's uncle), J2 "Granny" (J49's great great grandmother), J40 "Suttles" (J49's auntie), and J37 "Hy'shqa" (J49's mother) who at 12 years old, is the youngest southern resident whale known to have given birth.
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R-E-D-xX Featured By Owner May 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Can i just say.. how much.. i absolutely love this ?!?!
namu-the-orca Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Now this must've been a truly amazing thing to see for yourself, so lucky! Loving the ring all the orcas are forming, really adds to the almost ritualistic feel of it. I can imagine it has to be a great joy for all of the pod when a new member is born!
loveforRuka Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
This is just lovely! A great tribute to them!
xSkyeCrystalx Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
Aw this is amazing and so touching !! I love how graceful you drew them :heart:
You saw the birth for real? Oh my, the kind of things that happens once in a lifetime! (though I wish to you to witness more!) Must be so touching and interesting to see! All the family gathers around the baby?
You gave such a sense of love to your drawing, you can feel how they care for the whole family and are very caring for this new little life~
taslishaw Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Student
Thank you for such a thoughtful comment :) You are so sweet.
I did not see the actual moment of birth. That occurred underwater and out of sight of course, but yes, the family was gathered around mom and baby in an interesting formation that you don't really see them in otherwise. They were almost stationary in one spot, just floating and spyhopping and rolling around. Its hard to explain, but here is a video demonstrating pretty much exactly what I witnessed, except there were more whales. [link]

Thanks again, much appreciated!
Lunchi Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
I like how realistic this looks. Great job. Also nice idea with the circle.
taslishaw Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Student
Thank you Lunchi! I'm glad you noticed the circular composition :)
AlexPhotograpy Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
this looks so cuuute.
and i always :heart: if wild orca groups are drawn.
that looks so fantastic.
Kaimona Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
what did you use to color this picture?
taslishaw Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Student
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