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  1. UPDATE, June 3

    The Center for Whale Research has reported the apparent absence of two additional Southern Resident killer whales as a result of an encounter last Tuesday by center researchers Dave Ellifrit, Erin Heydenreich and Barbara Bender.

    In addition to L-112, the 3-year-old female found dead near Long Beach in February, and J-30, a 17-year-old male who has not been seen since December, the research team reported that two older females appear to be missing. They are L-5, estimated at 47, and L-12, estimated at 78. (Their ages are estimates, because the annual census that keeps track of every birth and death began 36 years ago.)

    “We will wait for a couple more good encounters with L pod before writing them off to make sure they were not just missed,” the researchers said in their report of the encounter, which also includes 10 photos.

    Orca Network has tentatively removed all the missing whales from its list of living orcas, leaving the number of survivors at 85.

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