Scientists concerned about endangered orca still pushing body of her calf

A baby orca whale was pushed by her mother after being born off the Canada coast near Victoria British Columbia. The new orca died soon after being born and was seen on Tuesday

The 3½-year-old orca is thin, in poor body condition and may have an infection.

Canada has received and is granting a permit for scientists to assess and treat the young orca, a female, in Canadian waters.

The J Pod was seen earlier Thursday, but neither J50 nor J35, the orca carrying her dead calf, were immediately seen.

"I certainly think the duration of carrying the calf is unprecedented", she said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday.

While Tahlequah is mourning her dead baby, another young whale is on the brink of death, said scientists, who are racing against time to save 3-year-old J50, also known as Scarlet.

A team of whale experts has injected an ailing killer whale with antibiotics in a rare emergency effort to save her.

The calf was born July 24, but died shortly afterward.

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No intervention is planned, she said, but they will monitor her condition.

They spotted J35 while searching for another of the remaining 75 southern resident killer whales, labelled an endangered species in both Canada and the United States.

"We have obvious concerns about the displacement of her behavior away from foraging and feeding towards carrying the calf", Thornton said. "The challenge is keeping track of the whales", said Brad Hanson, a wildlife biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). "I'm not even sure we would be successful".

NOAA says on Facebook that the team will decide next whether to feed the free-swimming whale live salmon from a boat. The whale was spotted on Wednesday afternoon with the J-pod of orcas.

"If they're travelling, it's challenging", said Hanson.

The last time scientists rescued a killer whale in the region was in 2002 when a northern resident killer whale known as Springer was found swimming alone in Puget Sound.

The carcass is "surprisingly intact", she said. She returned to her family of whales in Canada later that year and in 2013 was seen with her new calf.

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