Endangered orca found dead, then story gets even worse

December 9, 2014 6:00 PM

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Endangered orca found dead, then story gets even worse

That an endangered orca was found dead on the eastern side of Vancouver Island Thursday was itself gloomy news: Named J-32 and nicknamed Rhapsody, it was part of a population that had only 78 members, and thought to be one of only 18 able to reproduce.

But the completed necropsy dealt two additional blows: First, the orca was pregnant. "When you have 78 animals and you lose an animal ... that has the potential to contribute for decades—that's a huge loss to this population," says Paul Cottrell of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

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