Health

J50 Orca Update: Scientists going to try to get her second dose of meds

J50 Orca Update: Scientists going to try to get her second dose of meds

J50 follows her mother, J16, on Aug. 18, 2018. (Photo by Katy Foster/NOAA Fisheries, under permit 18786)

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. — Scientists and veterinarians monitoring the health of the sickened Orca known as J50 said they spent three hours watching her and her J pod as they returned to the Salish Sea Saturday and noted some slight improvement in her condition.

Observers said J50 was actively socializing with her pod but fell behind as they swam east, eventually catching up to her mother and brother on the west side of San Juan Island.

The plan is to try and get a second dose of an antibiotic through a dart injection, and if possible, a second dart with dewormer to reduce parasitic worms. There were some indication of parasites in the group’s fecal samples and scientists worry that they could harm emaciated orcas like J50, officials said.