The orca who was spotted Thursday off British Columbia is thin and in poor health. Ken Balcomb with the Center for Whale Research told The Seattle Times J35 has carried the carcass of her calf more approximately 1,000 miles or more.
The distinctive black-and-white orcas have struggled since they were listed as an endangered species in the US and Canada over a decade ago.
An ailing and emaciated orca named Scarlet may get food and antibiotics soon - if biologists can find her before it's too late.
A team of experts led by NOAA Fisheries have been searching for the young whale to assess her health and potentially give her medication.
Fearing that J50's fate will be the same if they don't intervene, scientists are considering multiple strategies created to save the starving whale, including feeding her live salmon dosed with medication at sea.
J35 was first spotted July 24 carrying the calf on her nose and in her mouth.
The tweet says the next step is to decide if trial feeding of J50 should proceed, although it says that will depend on the location of the pod, as well as water and weather conditions.
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Veterinarian Marty Haulena from the Vancouver Aquarium got a thorough look at her.
"What they're working on this morning...to determine which method they're going to use, [is] based on the dose that they have configured for her", Rowles told ABC News on Tuesday.
"We have obvious concerns about the displacement of her behavior away from foraging and feeding, to carrying the calf, and concerns over the length of time of this behavior as it continues, and the possibility of decreasing her ability to forage effectively", Thornton said. "To us, she is still a critical whale", Haulena said.
United States and Canadian scientists said they were concerned about the mother's condition and would keep monitoring her but have no plans to help her or remove the calf.
An emergency effort to feed and treat an ailing young member of the endangered southern resident killer whales made headway on Thursday, according to rescuers.
Mr Hanson said Springer's case was different because she was isolated. By the time biologists from the Center for Whale Research arrived at her side, the calf was dead.
Last week, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee released a video statement on Facebook detailing what his office is doing to protect the orca population in the waters around the state.
"Even if her family is foraging for and sharing fish with her, J35 can not be getting the. nutrition she needs to regain any body-mass loss that would have naturally occurred during the gestation of her fetus and also additional loss of nutrition during these weeks of mourning", she said.