“This is absolutely the worst thing possible”, pregnant orca dies with decomposing stillborn full-term fetus inside — “We’re going to lose them… they’ll be extinct for sure”
from ENE News:
The Province, Dec 5, 2014 (emphasis added): For an endangered orca population living off the B.C. coast, Thursday’s death of a young adult female “couldn’t be much worse,” according to a marine scientist… “It couldn’t be much worse than losing an 18-year-old female,” [Dr. Peter Ross, a senior scientist at the Vancouver Aquarium] said. “This was a female who was at the sunrise of her reproductive life.”… “There’s virtually no survival of the babies anymore, which of course means there’s no future… We have to turn this around somehow,” said [Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research].
Dr Andrew Trites, U. of British Columbia: “To lose a female of reproductive age, that’s absolutely the worst thing possible that could happen… without them, the population is doomed.”
Times Colonist, Dec 5, 2014: The death of J32 [and] her baby, paints a grim future for the southern resident whales… Balcomb said. “We haven’t had any survivals in babies for a couple of years. We have had stillborns and newborns die… It’s like zero survival in birth rate here.”
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