Killer whale calf medicated in the wild, a first!

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For the first time ever, a wild orca has been administered medication via darting. Canadian and US biologists cooperated to locate and treat the three and a half year old calf, J50 (Scarlet) who is dangerously thin.

Dr. Martin Haulena of the Vancouver Aquarium and Jeff Foster of the Whale Sanctuary Project, prepare to administer an antibiotic to J50(Photo: Katy Foster)

Kudos to all for the international effort.
J50 is still keeping up with her pod (Photo: Katy Foster)

From NOAA Fisheries West Coast:
August 9: Response teams reached J Pod in Canadian waters and followed them into U.S. waters near San Juan Island.
While very skinny and small, J50 / Scarlet kept up well with her mother and siblings.
Vancouver Aquarium’s veterinarian and the team conducted a visual assessment, obtained a breath sample that will help assess any infection, and administered antibiotics through a dart. Next steps are to continue observations and consider trial feeding as a future route for delivering medications.

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