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In Photos: Response Teams Try To Save Starving Killer Whale

Team effort

Orca rescue

(Image credit: Katy Foster/NOAA Fisheries permit #18786)

Response teams from the U.S. and Canada worked together to execute a plan to save Scarlet.

Feeding drial

Orca rescue

(Image credit: Katy Foster/NOAA Fisheries permit #18786)

A Lummi Nation boat slipped live salmon into the water through a long tube device, hoping to entice Scarlet to eat.

Questionable appetite

Orca rescue

(Image credit: Katy Foster/NOAA Fisheries permit #18786)

Response teams served salmon to Scarlet from the back of their boat, but they're unsure if she ate any of the fish.

Live fish

Orca rescue

(Image credit: Katy Foster/NOAA Fisheries permit #18786)

Live, farm-raised chinook salmon were dropped in the water for Scarlet to feed on. It's unclear if she actually ate any of the fish.

On Call

Orca rescue

(Image credit: Katy Foster/NOAA Fisheries permit #18786)

Response teams were poised for the right opportunity to collect breath and fecal samples from Scarlet.

Breath sample

breath sample

(Image credit: Katy Foster/NOAA Fisheries permit #18786)

Researchers used a long pole with a petri dish at the end to collect a sample of the air Scarlet exhales out her blowhole.

Quick exhale

(Image credit: Katy Foster/NOAA Fisheries permit #18786)

When Scarlet exhales, the bacteria in her breath sticks to the petri dish researchers held above her head.

Close watch

Orca rescue

(Image credit: Katy Foster/NOAA Fisheries permit #18786)

Scarlet was spotted off the west side of San Juan Island near Lime Kiln Lighthouse on Aug. 11, 2018.