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Endangered killer whale found dead on the Sunshine Coast

(iStock Photo)

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.