Grieving Orca Whale Releases Dead Calf After More Than Two Weeks

13 Août, 2018, 01:36 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

The calf died soon after birth in July, and the orca mom had carried the body for almost three weeks while traveling hundreds of miles.

But by the time a team from the Centre for Whale Research arrived to take pictures of the newborn, it sadly was no longer alive.

A grieving mother orca has finally let her dead calf go, ending her "tour of grief".

Killer whales have been known to carry dead calves for a week, but scientists believe this mother "sets a record".

But on Saturday experts confirmed she had dropped the calf.

"Her tour of grief is now over and her behavior is remarkably frisky".

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But the center said J35 was seen Saturday afternoon just off its headquarters and "vigorously chased" salmon with her pod.

A baby orca whale being pushed by her mother, known as J35.

It says there had been reports "from brief sightings by whale-watchers" two days ago of J35 without her calf in the Georgia Strait near Vancouver.

"The carcass has probably sunk to the bottom of these inland marine waters of the Salish Sea [between Canada and the US], and researchers may not get a chance to examine it for necropsy (autopsy of an animal)".

Scientists believe the carcass will be hard to locate at the bottom of the sea.

J35 was spotted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada while they were searching for another of the 75 southern resident killer whales, labelled an endangered species in both Canada and the United States.

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