Experts weigh next steps, possible capture, to save ill orca - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Experts weigh next steps, possible capture, to save ill orca

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SEATTLE (AP) - Nearly two months after an international team of experts began taking extraordinary measures to save a young sick orca, the critically endangered whale is skinnier than ever.

Now NOAA Fisheries and its partners are weighing whether to intervene further to help the orca known as J50.

Options could include temporarily capturing the orca, treating her on the spot and releasing her, or holding her for a short time for rehabilitation before returning her to the wild.

NOAA Fisheries says veterinarians believe they have exhausted remote treatment options in the field, including giving her antibiotics. Experts say it's unlikely she'll survive.

The agency says they'll rescue the orca only if she becomes stranded or separated from the rest of her pod.

Officials have scheduled two meetings in Washington state this weekend to hear from the public.

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