Two more Southern Resident Killer Whales are faltering

More bad news for the southern resident killer whales.

Photos taken by the Centre for Whale Research on New Years Eve show two southern resident orcas who appear to be sick, and have started to develop "peanut head", a form of emaciation.

Jason Colby, U-Vic History Professor and author of 'Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator', says one of the whales is part of J-pod.

She's the grandmother of the calf who was bouyed up by her mother for 17 days after her death.

He says the fact that the 42 year old female is ill is concerning for a couple reasons.

"She's right on the edge of still being in reproductive age, so that's concerning.  And also the older females are the ones that generally have the most expertise for foraging, and really lead their families, including even their adult sons. So the fact that she's struggling could mean sickness, could mean a range of problems, but likely means what we've been talking about a lot lately is the inadequacy of food supply, of chinook salmon."

The other sickly whale is a large adult male in K-pod.

He says the eyes of the world have been on the remaining 74 southern resident killer whales, but he feels the actions being taken now are too little, too late, and is fearful for their extinction.

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