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Vets ready for rare efforts to save ailing endangered orca

[] Experts are preparing rare emergency efforts to administer antibiotics or feed live salmon to try to save a young emaciated orca that’s part of a critically endangered pod of killer whales.

But veterinarians haven’t spotted the 3½-year-old female killer whale in several days. They are waiting for her to show up again in Washington state waters so they can zip out on a boat to do a health assessment, said Teri Rowles, marine mammal health and stranding coordinator for NOAA Fisheries.

The whale known as J50 is underweight and may have an infection.

“It is very possible that she has succumbed at this point and that we may never see her again,” Rowles told reporters Tuesday. “We are hopeful that there’s still a chance that we will be able to assist her with medical treatment to give her enough time to get nourishment and treat infections, if indeed that is what is causing her decline.”

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