Orca calf found dead on Vancouver Island; cause of death unclear

VANCOUVER -- An orca calf has been found dead near Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Paul Cottrell of Fisheries and Oceans Canada says a surfer found the whale on Dec.

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23 and a necropsy was conducted on Christmas Day.

He says scientists are still awaiting results of tissue-sample testing and a cause of death is not yet known.

Cottrell says DNA tests are expected to show whether the whale was part of the endangered southern resident population, which had a baby boom of eight calves born this year.

He says it's possible the calf is part of the transient population, which is classified as threatened but not endangered.

Cottrell says scientists believe the calf was about two months old.



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