Another Puget Sound orca is missing.
One of the calves born this summer whose mother was recently discovered to have vanished has disappeared, scientists said Friday.
It’s been a bad week for orcas; last week’s news was even worse.
Three of the 90 orcas that call Puget Sound home are missing and presumed dead… At least two had shown signs of starvation…
[Two] factors have combined to frustrate rebuilding of the orcas’ population: a declining amount of their favorite food, salmon; and the continued buildup of industrial chemicals that affect reproduction and the immune system and are believed to make the orcas hungry and weak.
Over the last few decades the orca population has fluctuated a fair amount—but still, compared with the late 1970s, recent numbers have been looking pretty good.
So let’s hope that the disappointing news from this week isn’t a harbinger of a new and more troublesome trend.