Ailing killer whale declared dead, but feds to keep looking

  • In this Aug. 7, 2018, file photo, Southern Resident killer whale J50 and her mother, J16, swim off the west coast of Vancouver Island near Port Renfrew, B.C. Teams searched Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, for the sick, critically endangered orca in the waters of Washington state and Canada, but a scientist who closely tracks the population in the Pacific Northwest said he believes the whale, known as J50, has died. (Brian Gisborne/Fisheries and Oceans Canada via AP, file)

SEATTLE — Efforts to find a sick young orca from a critically endangered population of killer whales in the Pacific Northwest came up empty Thursday, and a scientist who tracks the animals declared her dead — though federal authorities said they’d keep looking.

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