Sickly endangered killer whale feared lost, spotted alive

  Hours after the U-S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a sick killer whale known as J50 was missing from her family pod, an American whale research organization says the young orca has been spotted alive.

     U.S. researchers announced J50 was missing, and wasn't with her pod when a group of biologists was studying them Sunday.   The last time she was seen on August 30th, she was lagging about a kilometre behind her mother and brother.

     But the young whale was finally sighted about mid-morning Monday. 

    Still, Mark Leiren-Young, host of Skaana podcast and author of Killer Whale Who Changed the World, was on CFAX 1070 with Adam Stirling and says things are not looking good for J-50:

" Well, we know that she's been trailing her family which is just not a good sign for a whale in this condition.  And the assumption was if she wasn't with her Mom then, this was it."

Leiren-Young says the fact J-50 became separated from her pod doesn't not bode well for the ailing young orca:

" And everything that I was seeing this morning, not only hadn't she been seen, she hadn't been seen with her Mom, Slick,  and it appeared she was gone. NOAA did their release saying they were hoping she'd be seen, but were not hopeful. Ken Balcomb said the same, the Centre for Whale Research."

Leiren-Young says intervention such as administering antibiotics and trying to feed J-50 took far too long, adding if additional intervention is not underway today we need to know why.

 The Center for Whale Research says researchers were in the water with the animal, which has lost a considerable amount of weight over the past several months.



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