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Vets ready for rare efforts to save ailing endangered orca

Veterinarians are preparing rare emergency efforts to administer antibiotics to a young emaciated orca that’s part of an endangered pod and whose survival is uncertain.

Teri Rowles with NOAA Fisheries told reporters Tuesday that veterinarians will do a health assessment when the 3½-year-old female killer whale shows up again in Washington state waters.

They’ll decide then whether to administer antibiotics using a dart injector or a long pole syringe.

They would decide after that whether to feed the orca live salmon from a boat, which has never been attempted in the wild.

The animal, which was last seen Friday, is part of a population of critically endangered orcas that’s dwindled to just 75 whales.

Another female orca from the group attracted global attention as she tried to keep her dead baby afloat.


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