Grieving Orca Let Go Of Her Dead Calf

grieving orca

Grieving orca let go of her dead calf after 17 days.

“Her tour of grief is now over and her behavior is remarkably frisky,” the Center for Whale Research said.

After swimming with the baby’s body for more than 1,000 miles and 17 days, the mother orca, known as J35 or Tahlequah, has finally dropped the decomposing body into the water, the Center for Whale Research.

“Her tour of grief is now over and her behavior is remarkably frisky,” the Center for Whale Research said.

The grieving orca and her dead calf had been the centre of world-wide attention.

Prior to Tahlequah, orcas and dolphins had been seen carrying their calves for as long as a week, according to the researchers.

The calf died shortly after being born on July 24. At the time, the Center for Whale Research described seeing the baby’s carcass “sinking and being repeatedly retrieved by the mother who was supporting it on her forehead and pushing it in choppy seas.”

Researchers following the dramatic journey  that Tahlequah’s orca family was “likely helping her in many ways” and that they believed it was possible that her podmates were “sharing food with her” while she carried the dead calf.

The calf’s body was likely left somewhere in the Salish Sea — inland waters around Vancouver and northwestern Washington state — but because researchers do not know exactly where it was dropped, they will not be able to examine it.

The Center for Whale Research said the orca population in the area, known as the Southern Resident killer whales, have failed to produce any viable offspring in the past three years.  As many as 75 per cent of new calves in the last two decades have died.

The orcas in the area have been facing serious problems for years and they show no signs of abating.

The orcas have been struggling because of a lack of Chinook salmon, which, like their marine mammal predators, is listed as endangered.

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