A 22-year-old Souther Resident Killer Whale in the K pod has not been seen for three encounters with its pod.
The Center for Whale Research, which observes the orcas, says K34, or Cali, was last seen on July 7 during an encounter with the K pod and at the time he appeared “somewhat skinny, potentially indicating poor condition.”
While this doesn’t mean that Cali has died, the Center for Whale Research says whales that are missing from the pod for three encounters or more are “very likely” to be deceased.
“[H]owever it’s always possible that K34 shows up again,” the research group says in a post on Facebook.
In 2022, the Center for Whale Research says there were two SRKW calfs born, though three of the endangered mammals died.
Prior to this, none of the Southern Resident Killer Whales are believed to have died in 2023.
Between 1976 and 2022, there are only five years with zero deaths of Southern Resident Killer Whales: 1976, 1992, 2001, 2003 and 2020.