Southern Resident grandmother orca missing and likely dead

SEATTLE (AP) — The Center for Whale Research has declared an orca in one of the Puget Sound’s endangered Southern Resident killer whale pods “missing and likely dead.” The Bellingham Herald reports mother and grandmother L47 was missing from the center’s 2021 census, and she hasn’t been spotted since Feb. 27. Researchers say the 47-year-old orca “did not appear to be in particularly poor condition” in that sighting, but she was missing from surveys conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada in the western Strait of Juan de Fuca this summer. With the loss of L47 and the loss of a male orca this summer, the current Southern Resident population is 73.