Ailing killer whale declared dead, but feds to keep looking

SEATTLE (AP) — Efforts to find a sick young orca from a critically endangered population of killer whales in the Pacific Northwest came up empty Thursday, and a scientist who tracks the animals declared her dead — though federal authorities said they’d keep looking.
The grim news means scientists believe just 74 whales remain in a group that has failed to reproduce successfully in the past three years. The orcas have struggled with pollution, boat noise and, most severely, a dearth of their preferred prey, chinook salmon, because of dams, habitat loss and overfishing.
“We’re watching a population marching toward extinction,” said Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research.

Original published: 2018-09-14 04:07:46 Read the full Seattle News here


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