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Vancouver residents expose death of killer whale J-32

Vancouver residents expose death of killer whale J-32

VANCOUVER: The residents of Courtenay, B.C., exposed a body of young killer whale near Vancouver Island.
Its death is worrying, said marine mammal researchers from the Vancouver Aquarium, as it marks the fourth recent death in the endangered southern resident population.
wo of the whales, L100 and L53, are presumed to have died sometime this summer, while the calf L120 died about eight weeks ago.
Now, only 77 southern resident killer whales remain in the Salish Sea.
The whale found Thursday was identified as 18-year-old J-32, according to Paul Cottrell, a marine mammal co-ordinator with the department.
It really tugs at the heart strings. It’s a magnificent animal. Sixteen feet or so — so it’s likely a juvenile. So, it’s terrible and we want to figure out what the cause of death was here and how this animal died,” Cottrell said.
According to the Orca Network, J-32, which was nicknamed Rhapsody, was thought to be in the late stages of pregnancy last summer judging by her wide girth, which was visible when she breached.
“A necropsy Saturday led by Dr. Stephen Raverty will reveal if she was indeed pregnant and hopefully will find the cause of death. She was believed to have died in the past 24 to 48 hours,” said the statement posted by the Orca Network.