Biologists are mobilized and responding to an emaciated and ailing three year-old killer whale (born December 2014), J50 also known as Scarlet, of the critically endangered Southern Resident population. J50 appears lethargic at times with periods of activity, including feeding. Scientists observing her agree that she is in poor condition and may not survive. Responders from NOAA Fisheries and partner organizations are exploring options ranging from no intervention to providing medical treatment, potentially delivered in a live Chinook salmon, which has never before been attempted in the wild. Potential treatment may include medication and nutrition.
Watch this video from August 10 and 12, 2018, featuring aerials of the response team on a skiff tracking J50 for the collection of a breath sample and antibiotic administration; aerials of J Pod swimming; topside footage of Chinook salmon release through tube as an evaluation.
Watch the video above from researchers tracking J50.