Reports of injured killer whale are likely false

by Tim Flanagan on August 27, 2011

Christopher Dunagan has this story at his (Kitsap Sun) blog:

I’m happy to inform you that reports of a killer whale being struck off the west side of San Juan Island this morning apparently were false.

Erin Heydenreich, prothesis Ken Balcomb and others with the Center for Whale Research spent about two hours on the water this afternoon checking out L-90, information pills a 19-year-old female known as “Ballena.” She was the orca reported to have been struck by a boat going too fast near the whales.

“We got a very good look at her, medicine ” Erin noted. “There were no signs of injury or indications that she had been struck.”

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Orca thought struck by boat might simply be pregnant

Keith Ervin and Lynda V. Mapes have the story in the Seattle Times:

Whale experts were trying to figure out the reason for an orca whale’s unusual, listless behavior on the west side of San Juan Island on Friday.

Brian Gorman, spokesman for the National Marine Fisheries Service, said the agency received reports of the whale being struck by a private boat, and that officials at various agencies were investigating.

But a Friday Harbor-based whale researcher said after looking at the whale Friday afternoon that it wasn’t in distress and may just be pregnant.

"There’s no evidence on the whale of any strike, and behavior-wise it’s acting as it has been in the recent past, sort of moping around," said Ken Balcomb, senior scientist of the Center for Whale Research.

"It looked like a normal day to us, and the whale was unscathed," Balcomb said.

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