Federal biologists have confirmed that two of the three killer whales that swam far up a river in southwestern Alaska have died.
NOAA Fisheries spokeswoman Julie Speegle says the carcasses were spotted during a flight over the Nushagak River on Saturday.
The two dead whales appeared to be adults. A necropsy is planned for early this week. The third, a juvenile, was seen downriver from the carcasses, and biologists were going to assess its health on Sunday in deciding whether to try to force it out to sea.
The whales were first spotted in the river about three weeks ago, and had been in danger of starvation.