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Biologists at a federal agency are preparing a plan to capture and treat a sick killer whale in serious danger of extinction if there is no other way to save it in their habitat, they said Wednesday.
They will only rescue her if she is stranded or separated from the rest of her group of whales, which is very close, they added.
They want the four-year-old orca, known as the J50, to survive at sea and help reproduce the killer whales known as “southern residents” on the west coast of North America, without risking the rest of their group.
“We do not intend to intervene while she is with her family, if we find ourselves in a situation where the rescue is the only viable alternative, we will rescue her,” said Chris Yates, regional deputy administrator of the Office’s protected resources division. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, for its acronym in English).
Veterinarians believe they have exhausted treatment options in the field, which included injecting antibiotics twice in the northwestern United States. Despite the treatment, J50 is thinner than before due to unknown health problems.
“This whale is very sick,” said Joe Gaydos, wildlife veterinarian and scientific director of the SeaDoc Society, a research organization. “We think he has little time.”
Another cetacean in the same group, known as J35, attracted international attention mid-year when he kept the corpse of his calf afloat for more than two weeks.
The two whales are part of a group of 75 that live in Pacific waters in the northwestern United States.
Orcas living in the south lack enough salmon for their diet. They are also threatened by the pollution of the sea, as well as the noise of boats and other annoyances that alter their ability to communicate and search for food.
Source: Net Noticias MX