A newborn male killer whale calf was found washed up Monday on a beach at Dungeness Spit just south of the Canada-U.S. border on the Olympic Peninsula, the Washington-based Orca Network reports.
DNA tests are required to determine whether the calf was an endangered southern resident killer whale or threatened transient whale.
Residents are fish-eaters, targeting chinook salmon, whereas transients eat mammals such as seals, sea lions, dolphins and porpoises.
The body of the 2.3 metre-long calf has been taken to Seattle for a necropsy to take place Tuesday.
A young resident female killer whale washed up dead last February also in Washington state. While an underwater explosion or naval sonar was suspected, the exact cause has not been determined.
© Copyright 2013