Publicado: Jue, Agosto 09, 2018
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

Endangered orca that sparked international rescue plan spotted in B.C. waters

Endangered orca that sparked international rescue plan spotted in B.C. waters

Scientists on both sides of the border say the southern resident killer whale, identified as J-50, may only have days to live and veterinarians are prepared to administer experimental antibiotics in American waters.

"This is unprecedented in terms of what is occurring and some of the methodologies haven't been done on killer whales and it's an endangered population", Cottell said.

Teri Rowles, marine mammal health and stranding co-ordinator for the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, said "antibiotics through injection is going to be our best course rather than antibiotics through food, because we recognize that we won't able to treat her every day". What would be unique is giving the orca medication through live fish, she said. One of the great concerns for the whale is that it is part of the endangered southern-resident orcas that have declined to a population of only 75. Those numbers have remained stagnant, Balcomb said.

That changed in late July, when a female member of the group - known as J35, or Tahlequah - gave birth to a calf, but the baby whale only lived for 30 minutes.

An aerial photograph of adult female Southern Resident killer whale J16 with her calf (J50) in 2015, when the calf was in its first year of life. This tactic has never before been attempted in the wild, NOAA fisheries experts wrote on the agency's website.

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Experts are preparing rare emergency efforts to administer antibiotics or feed live salmon to try to save a young emaciated orca that's part of a critically endangered pod of killer whales.

"What they're working on this determine which method they're going to use, [is] based on the dose that they have configured for her", Rowles told ABC News on Tuesday. Rowles said that the salmon they are providing are not meant to satisfy the orca's nutritional needs and was adamant that this will not become a standard practice.

Rowles said that while the research boats are out in the water searching for Scarlet, they have to keep a distance at least 200 yards to make sure that they don't further stress the sick, young whale or other whales.

Earlier Tuesday, federal officials had said they received legal permission to move forward with the treatment J50.

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