Emergency rescue efforts for endangered killer whale hit snag in Canada

08 Août, 2018, 17:51 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Lummi Nation Chairman Jay Julius center helps move a live wild chinook salmon to a tribal boat. The Chinook was caught Monday by nontribal reef-net fishers off Lummi Island in Legoe Bay Monday

But there's one possible hurdle: If she's found in Canadian waters, Canadian law doesn't allow humans to feed her.

Scarlet, also known as J50, was last seen in Canadian waters Saturday, on the west side of Vancouver Island.

It's not unusual for wild whales to be out of sight for some time, but J-50's condition was so poor it's not clear how long she has left.

"We are hopeful that there's still a chance that we will be able to assist her", Rowles said.

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Killer whales belonging to J-pod have attracted worldwide attention since another member, mother J-35, recently carried her dead baby for days in what was described as a display of grief.

Canadian and American scientists are considering how to deliver potentially life-saving medication to a sick killer whale, identified as J-50.

"We just amended the marine mammal regulations to prohibit feeding marine mammals because we don't want to habituate marine mammals to people, but again we're reviewing that method right now", said Paul Cottrell, marine mammals coordinator with the government agency Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

He said the department is working urgently to secure permits.

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