A killer whale expert from SeaWorld in San Diego will lead a team of four veterinarians headed to Southwest Alaska to perform necropsies on two orcas found dead in the Nushagak River near Dillingham.
According to witnesses, the trio of killer whales had been in the river for weeks, and biologists feared they would die of starvation or from spending too much time in freshwater. The carcasses were discovered Saturday.
The team plans to perform the first necropsy on Tuesday on the whale that was found floating in the Nushagak and later moved to a bank near Dillingham. Wednesday, the team will perform a necropsy on the other whale that was found beached further upriver.
The third whale, a younger orca, is still missing. It was last spotted on Saturday in the saltwater tidal area.