Rescue team cleared to help ailing orca in US, Canada waters

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SEATTLE (AP) - Whale experts preparing to save an ailing killer whale now have authorization to intervene with medical treatment in both U.S. and Canadian waters.

Andrew Thompson with Fisheries and Oceans Canada told reporters Thursday that the agency will issue a permit for the orca J50 to receive medication if it's found in Canadian waters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had a permit for such efforts in U.S. waters.

An international team of experts is waiting to get close to the 3½-year-old killer whale known as J50 so they can carry out a step-by-step emergency plan that includes giving her antibiotics or feeding live salmon at sea. She was last seen off the northwest tip of Washington state.

Scientists are also worried about another member of the endangered orcas. J35 was seen Wednesday still pushing the carcass of her calf more than two weeks after the newborn died.

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