An American whale research organization says an ailing killer whale has been found alive just hours after it was announced the young orca had been separated from her family pod.
In a Facebook post Monday, the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbour, Wash., says the female Southern Resident killer whale known as J50 was found mid-morning, and the centre’s researchers were in the water with the animal.
Michael Millstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement earlier in the day that J50 wasn’t seen with her pod when a group of biologists was studying them Sunday.
Millstein added that Fisheries and Oceans Canada saw J50 lagging roughly one kilometre behind her mother and brother, who were nearly three nautical miles behind the rest of the J Pod when last sighted on August 30.
He said J50 had lost a considerable amount of weight over the past several months and marine biologists and veterinarians from both sides of the border were working to stabilize the orca.
The three-and-a-half-year-old whale is one of only 75 Southern Resident killer whales that continue to travel the Pacific waters between British Columbia and California.
#J50 Update 7 of 7 (9/3) We are hopeful the additional efforts to follow up on sightings & take advantage of all the organizations on the water today gives us more information about J50 and J Pod. We will update everyone tomorrow. Find more information at https://t.co/rEsVWxON92. pic.twitter.com/1PSzlRsN7y— NOAAFish_WCRO (@NOAAFish_WCRO) September 3, 2018
The Canadian Press