SURREY (NEWS1130) – A chiropractor walking on the beach in South Surrey today found what he thought was a dead baby orca, but now he’s not sure what it is.

The nearly three-foot long black and white mammal looks like it died recently, and has a gash on its head.

A marine biologist reached by phone who specializes in killer whales says three feet is too small to be a newborn, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an orca.

“If it’s three feet long, it would either be a fetus, or more likely, it would be a baby Dall’s porpoise,” says Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, Head of the Whale Research Program at the Vancouver Aquarium. “People can be forgiven for mistaking Dall porpoises for killer whales, it happens all the time. They’ve got striking black and white colouration.”

Paul Hatch was amazed to come across the tiny creature, which he knew, one way or another, was a rare find.

“It looks like it got hit on the side by a boat,” he says. “…There’s a little bit of blood on the side of its head.”

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been notified and researchers will perform a necropsy to determine the animal’s species and cause of death.