After more than two weeks, orca drops body of her dead calf

13 Agosto, 2018, 01:37 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Tahlequah is no longer carrying her dead calf and appears to be vigorous and healthy as she swims with her pod in Haro Strait off San Juan Island on Saturday. Her ordeal of carrying her dead calf for at least 17 days and 1,000 miles is over

The heartbreaking story of an orca whale mother who has been carrying her deceased calfs body with her for more than 1,500 km has come to an end.

Her grieving lasted for at least 17 days, researchers said.

The mother whale named Tahlequah, or J35, had given birth to a baby southern resident killer whale on July 24, near Victoria, British Columbia in Canada. The mother was not ready to let go, and carried the calf along with her as she swam.

Ken Balcomb, executive director of the Center for Whale Research, spotted orca J35 with her pod off San Juan Island on Saturday, and said the ordeal of carrying her dead calf is over.

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In addition to tugging at heartstrings, the calf's loss was a major blow to the local endangered killer whales' population, which has just 75 orcas. The center said the whale appeared to be in good condition and "her behavior is remarkably frisky". There have been sightings two days ago of J35 without her calf in the Georgia Strait near Vancouver.

VANCOUVER-Researchers say an endangered orca's "tour of grief" is over after she spent almost three weeks towing her dead calf around the Pacific Ocean. "Now we can confirm that she definitely has abandoned it".

The Centre for Whale Research said the carcass had "probably sunk to the bottom of these inland marine waters of the Salish Sea" and it would be hard for researchers to locate it for necropsy.

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