UPDATE: Ailing orca J-50 spotted in U.S. waters
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says its staff have spotted J-50, an emaciated killer whale with her mother in U-S waters. J-35 has also been spotted with this pod and is still carrying her dead calf.
This will allow both Canadian and the U.S. experts to assess the health of J-50, a young female orca who may only have days to live without intervention. Her survival is considered vital for the future of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, now numbering just 75.
Jim Milbury of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S. says depending on weather conditions, and where the whale is, the team will try to get breath, fecal, and perhaps mucus and skin samples.
Milbury says a veterinary assessment will also take place, and if possible an antibiotic treatment will be administered remotely, or by a pole syringe. If all those goals are accomplished then live fish trials will be considered.