Third killer whale found dead in Alaska river

AP News
Posted: Oct 16, 2011 7:46 PM
Third killer whale found dead in Alaska river

A third killer whale that swam up Alaska's Nushagak River has been found dead.

A spokeswoman for NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service says the carcass of the third whale, a juvenile, was spotted Friday near Grass Island, across the river from Dillingham in an area influenced by tides.

Julie Speegle says in a statement that biologists believe the juvenile likely swam there rather than its body being moved by the tide.

The juvenile and two female orcas, including one pregnant whale, were spotted in fresh water more than three weeks ago. Necropsies last week on the other two whales provided no obvious reasons for why they died.

Speegle says nothing has been decided regarding a necropsy or tissue samples from the juvenile carcass.