We are very saddened to report that the body of an 18 year old male orca, known as J34, was recently found approximately 30 miles north of Vancouver which is indeed tragic news for the southern resident population. J34 was spotted alive as recently as December 7 – his mother J32 and brother, J38 are still alive. A necropsy has been carried out and an initial report published however it will more likely be a few weeks before anything certain could be known. A male in his prime, his death leaves this population in a desperate situation as J-pod had already suffered the death of a mother and a calf a few months ago.
The Southern Resident Orcas were listed as endangered in 2005, when there were just 88 individuals. They have since then lost nine, including J34.