Grieving Orca Finally Drops Her Dead Calf After Carrying It For 17 Days

The southern resident orca Tahlequah appears to be coming out of her mourning following the death of her child.  The Center for Whale Research tells the Seattle Times Tahlequah has dropped the body of her dead calf after carrying it over a thousand miles for 17 days straight.  Researchers say they saw Tahlequah, also known as J35, swimming without the calf Saturday and that she looked vigorous and healthy.  Tahlequah made headlines around the world for her mourning process.  Researchers say it's not uncommon for many mammals to carry around their dead offspring as they grieve, but researchers believe the duration of Tahlequa's mourning process was unprecedented.  The southern resident orca population is critically endangered partially due to a dwindling supply of their primary food source, chinook salmon. 

 

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