SECHELT, (NEWS1130) – A dead killer whale found on British Columbia’s coast has been identified as a member of an endangered population.
Fisheries and Oceans spokesman Dan Bate says a male orca was found Tuesday near Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast.
He says the animal has been identified as J34, a southern resident killer whale believed to be about 18 years old.
The southern resident killer whales are a clan of about 80 orcas that live in the waters off southern British Columbia and Washington State.
Bate says it’s not yet clear what caused J34’s death, but a necropsy was scheduled for Wednesday.
At least two other animals in the group have died this year, including a 23-year-old female called J28 who died in October and male known as L95, who died in April.