An International Rescue Operation Involved Delivering Antibiotics to a Killer Whale


Experts from Vancouver and all over the world are trying to save a killer whale, part of an endangered species, just off the West Coast. They injected the young mammal with much-needed antibiotics.

How did it happen?

This Thursday a team of experts sailed on the open waters to find the young orca alone. A veterinarian who was part of the team, Martin Haulena spoke with reporters Friday, via a conference call.

Although he is part of the central team of veterinarians that were on this noble mission, it was just the first time that Martin observed the killer whale in person. Apparently, it had a big impact on him, making him worry for what seemed to be a really skinny orca.

The killer whale

J50, as it was named is a young orca, having only 3 years and a half of lifetime in its pedigree. He is one of the last 75 southern resident orcas alive. They tend to spend their summers while hunting for salmon across the coasts of Washington state and British Columbia.

The whale was monitored since June and scientists observed tremendous weight-loss. That’s why they took this step and carried on saving the killer whale, in order to keep the reproductive potential of the species steady.

It is not the only one that suffered

Unfortunately, according to what Sheila Thornton has to say, there are more and more southern individuals that display such poor body conditions when summer begins. Sheila is the lead orca research scientist, part of the Fisheries and Oceans Canada. She says that summer is the difficult part and they get better as they catch more chinook salmon

However, J50’s situation seemed to not get better and that’s when these scientists decided it is time to take action into their own hands.


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