SEATTLE – Federal officials are weighing all options to save an emaciated endangered orca including feeding it live salmon at sea dosed with medicine.
Biologists are worried about the survival of the 4-year-old female orca known as J-50.
NOAA Fisheries spokesman Michael Milstein says experts are looking at all options to help her. They're taking breath and poop samples and aerial photographs to assess her health.
They're also exploring ways to deliver live fish — and oral medication — to the orca in a way that won't prompt the orca to become accustomed to people or boats.
Wildlife veterinarian Joe Gaydos with SeaDoc Society says extreme conservation efforts are needed to save the whale.
There are just 75 of the black-and-white orcas that frequent Washington state waters.
A calf died shortly after birth, and its mother has spent days keeping it afloat.