BREMERTON — An orca that injured its tail when its transient pod swam near Washington state in August now appears healthy, researchers said.
Researchers from the Center of Whale Research confirmed they saw the killer whale named Jack swimming with his family north of the San Juan Islands without any noticeable signs of injury, the Kitsap Sun reported Tuesday.
“He was surfing the wake of a big tanker and eating a nice sea lion lunch,” said Erin Gless, lead naturalist at Island Adventures in Anacortes.
When researchers observed the pod by boat last year they said the whale was injured, swimming slowly, not diving and falling about a mile behind the rest of the whales in the group.
“There was a lot of worry about will he be able to recover, but then he was seen several weeks later and he was doing just fine,” said Howard Garrett, board president of the Orca Network. “He seemed to be keeping up and being very active. There was no indication that there was any bad effect.”
Transient whales differ from the endangered Southern Resident killer whales and mainly eat mammals. Southern Residents mainly feed on salmon.