Team Gives Medication To Sick Orca At Sea

10 August, 2018, 22:21 | Author: Darnell Taylor

The calf was born July 24, but died shortly afterward.

An endangered, grieving orca is still carrying her dead calf more than two weeks after the newborn died, CBS affiliate KIRO reports.

The baby is starting to fall apart, Balcomb said.

"I certainly think that the duration of carrying the calf is unprecedented", said DFO scientist Sheila Thornton. "There are many species who do undertake this sort of behavior if a young animal has failed to survive, they will carry the carcass, you can look at that as mourning behavior".

Researchers blame starvation for the recent plummet in Southern Resident killer whale numbers.

"Removing the calf would be a very, very hard decision, and obviously we would have to take many factors into consideration, so that's now not on the table", she said. "That is not on the table", said Brad Hanson, wildlife biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. She returned to her family of whales in Canada later that year and in 2013 was seen with her new calf.

Meanwhile, the scientists remain fixed on J50, the 3 ½ year old orca who has lost weight in the last year and appears to have an infection.

"The world is watching, and the world is not going to let status quo continue", she said. "The other concern is that she might be food-limited".

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But even with female role models in abundance, orcas share an unusual bond with their mothers. But what is unknown is her condition going into her pregnancy, and after the loss of it. "Great work by the teams on the water!"

The plan on Thursday was to provide emergency assistance for the whale, with a visual medical assessment, as well as a shot of broad-spectrum antibiotics.

J50 and the pod were seen around Race Rocks in the Strait.

NOAA says on Facebook that the team will decide next whether to feed the free-swimming whale live salmon from a boat.

The initial plan was to take the fish from seiners or reef netters, a maneuver the Lummi practiced Monday with success. She also had foul breath - indicating a serious health problem. However, Hanson said, conditions have to be just right to do so. We can operate in calm winds. "If they're stopping to forage or socialize, that's a much better opportunity".

No intervention is planned, she said, but they will monitor her condition.

"We are ready to go", Hanson said. "So we've been standing by here, hoping that the southern residents will come back in". "But it is it very, very, real", she said.

Killer whales, though they have a reputation for being ruthless predators, are some of the most socially sophisticated animals in the world.

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