Killer whale J50 is shown off the coast of Washington State in this August 12, 2018 handout photo. An ailing killer whale was last sighted off Washington state on Saturday and biologists say she was still struggling. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - NOAA Fisheries, Katy Foster)

Killer whale still ailing; scientists last spotted her on Saturday

J50 is part of the endangered southern resident population

An ailing killer whale was last sighted off Washington state on Saturday and biologists say she was still struggling.

A veterinarian was able to dart J50 with a broad-spectrum antibiotic on Aug. 9 but Michael Milstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States says biologists described the whale as skinny, underweight and emaciated.

Milstein says J50 is not getting enough nutrition but whether that is because the 3 1/2 year old is not able to forage or she has some type of infection or other condition is hard to say.

Martin Haulena, a vet with Vancouver Aquarium who fired the antibiotic-filled dart at J50, says he is still concerned about her.

READ MORE: Emaciated orca gets first treatment after being spotted in B.C. waters

The emaciated whale is part of the endangered southern resident population, which has just 75 members remaining.

J50 was spotted Saturday with her pod as it returned to the Salish Sea on the way towards San Juan Island, which is in U.S. waters between Washington state and Vancouver Island.

The Canadian Press


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