Wednesday, April 13, 2016

4-13-16 Unexpected In A Different Way Today

Wednesday, April 13th was a 'normal' day until shocking news came that Nigel L-95 was dead.
...sorry to have to say it that way, but that's what it is - shocking.
...and in that same news, from Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Canada, came news that the dead female orca baby that was found near Sooke, B.C. in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in March, is a calf of one of the members of the Southern Resident Community...

...originally the adult male orca found on March 30th off the outer coast of Vancouver Island was initially thought to be a Northern Resident...but it was Nigel.

here's what the DFO posting said:
"A male killer whale was found floating dead near Esperanza Inlet, B.C. on March 30th, 2016. A necropsy was performed on April 1st, 2016, to determine the cause of the animal’s death. This animal was identified as L95, an approximately 20 year old Southern Resident killer whale, via a scar from a satellite tag deployed on the whale by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in February 2016. The Southern Resident population is listed as endangered under the Species at Risk Act in Canada.
No clear cause of death was apparent in the initial necropsy. Results include:
  • advanced decomposition,
  • fair to moderate body condition,
  • tag implant site at the base of the dorsal fin. Gross dissection and X-rays of the tag site indicated that the tag petals were left behind when the tag detached, but revealed no apparent localized or tracking inflammation.
  • diffuse peritonitis (inflammation of the membrane that lines the inner abdominal wall and covers the abdominal organs) with pronounced spleen enlargement, and
  • perforation of the caudal abdomen (near the posterior end) and herniated loops of intestine attributed to decomposition and bloat.
DFO can also confirm that the dead killer whale calf found near Sooke, BC on March 23rd, 2016 has been ID’d by the Vancouver Aquarium genetics team as a southern resident. The female calf was less than 2 weeks of age and had not yet been categorized. Further analysis will be done to determine which pod the calf belonged to. A necropsy was performed on March 25th, 2016. The initial/gross necropsy results did not indicate a cause of death, but given the young age of the animal, a birthing complication is suspected.
Analysis of tissue and blood samples is underway for both animals, and results will be provided to DFO in the final necropsy reports in 3-4 weeks.
The results of these necropsies will feed into a growing body of knowledge to assist in assessing the threats to Southern Resident killer whales from a population health perspective. This data allows us to look at trends, pathogens, or other indicators that may affect their life histories.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada would like to acknowledge the efforts and collaboration from the BC Ministry of Agriculture (and in particular, Drs Stephen Raverty and Heindrich Snyman, Veterinary Pathologists who performed the necropsy exams), Vancouver Aquarium staff for their DNA sequencing, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), not to mention numerous dedicated DFO staff and biologists."
...Nigel L-95 still had metal in him from the satellite tag that had been 'shot' into him earlier in the what the head of the Center for Whale Research, Ken Balcomb stated:  here's the link.

...regarding the loss of a calf from the community, more information may come later, regarding which pod the calf belonged to...if the mother is able to be determined it might help in paying attention to her well being...

...too many whales from this community are dying...'s so basic - they need food - salmon.  Why are the dams not being breached to provide food for the whales...ways you can's the link.

...late in the day today was a ray of sunshine, a bit of hope...a photograph of J-53, the fourth offspring of Princess Angeline, taken a few days ago by a whale watcher and verified by the Center for Whale Research, shows that J-53 is a female... is a ray of hope for this community of endangered orcas who are struggling to survive...provided she survives, there are many years that need to pass before she is able to contribute any offspring to this community... do the people who want to keep these whales alive, do so, when those who appear to have the power just appear to be creating more studies...
The whales can't thrive on studies
 but they can thrive by eating salmon.  

Isn't it possible to do both at the same time? 
(that is benign, no touch studies, i.e. - no tagging, no suction cup tagging, no darts of any kinds)

Let the whales eat while the studies go on.
Maybe the scientists will actually 
learn more in the process.

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