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Endangered Puget Sound orcas to get personal health records

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(FILE PHOTO)

SEATTLE (AP) — The endangered orcas that spend time in the waters off Washington state are among the most closely studied wildlife, and it’s expected to get even more in depth.

Wildlife veterinarians and other whale experts want to take the information collected about them and create personal health records for each southern resident killer whale. There are 84 that frequent Puget Sound.

The records can be used to monitor the orcas’ health trends individually and as a population. It’s similar to people having one medical record as they move between doctors.

SeaDoc Society’s wildlife veterinarian Joe Gaydos says the health records could help with decisions on managing the species.

More than two dozen experts met in Seattle on Tuesday to develop the idea.

Gaydos says a pilot project could launch this summer.