The Center for Whale Research says Southern Resident Orca L41 is missing and feared dead.
The organization came across multiple members of the L-pod on Friday in the Haro Strait area.
“Unfortunately, L41 was not present for the entire encounter,” said the center in a statement.
“Given his age and that he looked a little thin in our January 2019 encounter, we fear he may be gone and will consider him missing unless he shows up unexpectedly in an upcoming encounter.”
Their last record of L41 was from August 2019, when Victoria’s Mark Malleson photographed him in the western Strait of Juan de Fuca.
During Friday’s encounter they say around ten whales were spotted.
L41 was born in 1977, and if he is dead the total number of Southern Resident Orcas would drop to 72.
The orca’s numbers have been dwindling, the lack of their preferred prey of Chinook Salmon is being greatly credited to their decline.