Killer whale possibly killed by U.S. military explosion

Southern Resident Killer Whale, killed by massive full-body blunt trauma from a suspected explosion.  She was one of 90 surviving in her endangered pod.  At least 38 seals died from similar injuries last year.

(FROM:   CBC News   Posted: Mar 22, 2012 6:24 AM PT   Last Updated: Mar 22, 2012 12:00 PM PT)

‘Chances are some other whales got killed, too,’  —Marine scientist Ken Balcomb

Some U.S. scientists believe a killer whale that washed up off the coast of Washington last month might have been killed by a military explosion.

The three-year-old female orca was a member of L-pod, a group that lives in Canadian waters during the summer months.

The killer whale’s carcass washed ashore at Long Beach, Wash., Feb. 11.

A necropsy found the marine mammal died from highly unusual injuries.  “The entire body showed evidence of massive blunt trauma, some sort of pressure wave that was very blunt in nature not the pointed bow of a ship or anything,” said Ken Balcomb, senior scientist at the Center for Whale Research at Friday Harbour, Wash., about 15 kilometres east of Victoria.

Balcomb suspects the animal was killed by an explosive device, one of 96 the U.S. Navy deployed in the area in 2011.

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