An ailing killer whale was last sighted off Washington state on Saturday and biologists say she was still struggling.
A veterinarian was able to dart J50 with a broad-spectrum antibiotic on Aug. 9 but Michael Milstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States says biologists described the whale as skinny, underweight and emaciated.
Milstein says J50 is not getting enough nutrition but whether that is because the 3 1/2 year old is not able to forage or she has some type of infection or other condition is hard to say.
Martin Haulena, a vet with Vancouver Aquarium who fired the antibiotic-filled dart at J50, says he is still concerned about her.
The emaciated whale is part of the endangered southern resident population, which has just 75 members remaining.
J50 was spotted Saturday with her pod as it returned to the Salish Sea on the way towards San Juan Island, which is in U.S. waters between Washington state and Vancouver Island.
#J50 The emergency response for J50/Scarlet is also a story of partnerships. The knowledge, experience, & resources of everyone involved makes this possible. The story is not over. This short video collection is a tribute to our partners: https://t.co/Ced45ARqfr
— NOAAFish_WCRO (@NOAAFish_WCRO) August 24, 2018
The Canadian Press