Ailing orca J50 declared dead off Northwest US coast

A73 the orphaned orca Springer is active alert vocalizing and close to release from her pen in Dong Chong Bay off Vancouver Island. Jim Horton left and Brian O’Neill keep close watch as she breaches part of the rescue team. (Alan Berner  The S

A73 the orphaned orca Springer is active alert vocalizing and close to release from her pen in Dong Chong Bay off Vancouver Island. Jim Horton left and Brian O’Neill keep close watch as she breaches part of the rescue team. (Alan Berner The S

Officials were searching for the almost four-year-old whale in the water yesterday.

"Unfortunately J50 has not been seen in several days of favorable conditions and repeated sightings of her pod and family group, including J16, her mother", the agency said in a news release.

Balcomb, who tracks the whales for the United States government, declared her dead late on Thursday afternoon. "Teams were on the water searching yesterday and are increasing a broad transboundary search today with our on-water partners and counterparts in Canada", NOAA Fisheries spokesperson Michael Milstein said.

Ken Balcomb, the founding director of the Center for Whale Research, tells The Seattle Times that he believes J50 or "Scarlet" is dead. But, he said, because the USA and Canadian governments have so many resources devoted to finding her, they planned to continue searching on Friday.

"Most of us think J50 is really sick", Vancouver Aquarium head veterinarian Martin Haulena said this week.

"It was striking to me how thin she was. she is the thinnest killer whale I've ever seen", said Gaydos. Authorities also alerted a network of people who respond when marine mammals wash ashore.

The distinctive black-and-white orcas, known as southern resident killer whales, have struggled since they were listed as an endangered species in the USA and Canada well over a decade ago.

J50 is part of a family group known as J-pod, which also includes the mother orca who gained worldwide attention for carrying her dead newborn calf in an apparent display of mourning that lasted 17 days.

The message, the Center for Whale Research said in a website post, is that extinction is looming "while the humans convene task forces and conference calls that result in nothing, or worse than nothing, diverting attention and resources from solving the underlying ecological problems". Teams dropped live salmon from a boat as J50 and her pod swam behind - a test to see whether fish could be used as a means of delivering medication.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.