Orca's 'tour of grief' over after carrying dead calf for weeks

13 August, 2018, 08:41 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Grieving killer whale mother finally lets go of the dead calf she had been carrying for more than 2 weeks

The Center for Whale Research said the killer whale, known as J35, was spotted off the western coast of San Juan Island, Wash., without her baby while she chased a school of salmon with her podmates for about a kilometre.

According to a report from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Tahlequah was spotted pushing around her dead calf in July 24.

"Her tour of grief is now over and her behaviour is remarkably frisky", explain scientists from the Centre for Whale Research, who monitor and study an endangered orca population called the Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW) in the Pacific Northwest.

Center for Whale Research founder Ken Balcomb said it's "unprecedented" for an orca to have gone for so long.

The adult - Tahlequah, or J35 as the whale has come to be known by researchers - and corpse were last seen definitively Thursday afternoon, 17 days after the baby's birth.

Another struggling female in the same pod - J50, also known as Scarlet - was shot with antibiotics to fight an infection, since scientists worry that she has been losing a frightening amount of weight.

"I am sobbing. I can't believe she is still carrying her calf around", Giles told the Seattle Times.

Exacerbating the problem is that orcas do not have babies often or in large numbers, and when they do, it is a long process.


"She is alive and well and at least over that part of her grief".

Photos and video showing Tahlequah keeping the baby whale's body afloat soon after it died quickly went viral, especially after each passing day.

There hasn't been a successful birth among the southern resident killer whales in three years.

Aside from the emotional impact, this behaviour can have physical consequences too, but new telephoto images taken by the Centre for Whale Research reveal Tahlequah appears to be in good physical condition, with no evidence of 'peanut head' skull deformations incurred by the relentless pushing and not enough food.

In the past two decades, 75 per cent of newborn calves have died, according to the CWR, which attributes the low reproduction rate to declining numbers of Chinook salmon, the staple diet of the killer whales.

It's believed her calf's body sunk to the bottom of the strait, meaning researchers may not get a chance to examine it for an autopsy.

Both Canada and the United States list the Southern Resident killer whale as endangered. "Orcas. are charismatic megafauna", she said.

Recommended:

  • Harley Davidson boycott would be 'great'

    Harley Davidson boycott would be 'great'

    Trump over tariffs on steel. "It was American made, and that's why we stood behind them", one of the bikers told the NYT .
    Manchester United 'to appoint first ever director of football'

    Manchester United 'to appoint first ever director of football'

    If you're not happy, you can not give your best. "We've learnt from the past that, if he takes too many players on like he did at Chelsea and Real Madrid, then there's only one thing that will happen".
    Tiger Woods in contention in final round

    Tiger Woods in contention in final round

    After the slow start on Thursday saw him play the first two holes in 3 over par, he has played the remaining 52 holes in 11 under. He left at least two strokes on the back nine, and an argument could be made that he could have been six better than he ended up.
  • Orca seen grieving, carrying dead calf is now feeding, frolicking with pod

    Orcas, also called killer whales, are highly social, and this pod was spotted Friday afternoon near Vancouver, British Columbia. Scientists say the whale refused to part with the carcass for a whopping 17 days, in what they described as severe grieving.
    The Academy just added a ‘popular film’ category to the Oscars

    The Academy just added a ‘popular film’ category to the Oscars

    The U.S. television audience for the March 2018 Oscar ceremony was the smallest in the awards' 90-year history. It is good news for sequels and superheroes, as the Academy announced a brand new category for the Oscars .
    Ingraham Faces Backlash From Cuomo on Demographic Comments

    Ingraham Faces Backlash From Cuomo on Demographic Comments

    Ingraham was highly criticized for commentary where she said that the United States many loved didn't exist anymore because of immigration, both legal and illegal.
  • Pep Guardiola: ‘We are delighted with Raheem Sterling ... we count on him’

    Pep Guardiola: ‘We are delighted with Raheem Sterling ... we count on him’

    It was always going to be a work in progress for Unai Emery and Arsenal as the Gunners prepared for their first match in charge. The Gunners were beaten 2-0 at the Emirates with Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva netting the goals.
    Doria Ragland Moving To Britain To Be Closer To Daughter Meghan Markle

    Doria Ragland Moving To Britain To Be Closer To Daughter Meghan Markle

    The Duchess of Sussex's father said he was "upset" by Harry's tirade, which came as he recovered in hospital from a heart attack. Mr Markle claims he responded: "Maybe it would be better for you guys if I was dead... then you could pretend to be sad".

    "Palm's return to be a 3.3" Android phone

    The phone will run Android 8.1 - hence our interest - and no mention has been made of any software customisations. Small phones are a rarity in 2018, and as such, the Pepito looks like nothing else that's now on the market.
  • Canadian jobless rate drops to four-decade low

    Canadian jobless rate drops to four-decade low

    Today's focus will be on Canada's jobless rate as Stats Can is set to release July's employment numbers. In Vancouver the unemployment rate rose from 4.6 per cent in June to 4.8 per cent in July.
    Trump adviser Stone's ex-aide refuses to appear before grand jury

    Trump adviser Stone's ex-aide refuses to appear before grand jury

    If Mueller was not correctly appointed, that calls into question the legality of his client to testify, Kamenar argued. At least nine people associated with Stone have been contacted by the special counsel.
    Trade Desk (TTD) PT Raised to $130.00

    Trade Desk (TTD) PT Raised to $130.00

    The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website . Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB purchased a new position in Trade Desk during the first quarter valued at approximately $228,000.


Popular

Tony Finau ties PGA Championship record with 10 birdies
That Woods is not holding up a major championship trophy for the 15th time in his life can be traced back to one club: his putter. He now is No. 2 in the world, with a shot at overtaking Johnson in two weeks when the FedEx Cup playoffs start.

U.S. tariffs hike adds to Turkey's economic problems
The US imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum in March for imports from a variety of countries. Turkey's row with the United States has further weighed on the lira.

Dhruv was not drunk, suggests Vikram’s manager
Police sources tell TNM that investigations regarding the case are underway at the J2 Adyar police station. Following this he was arrested and booked for "rash driving" and "causing hurt by act endangering life".

Tiger Woods could be leading the PGA Championship, but he's not
However, that didn't stop Woods from continuing to hit jaw-dropping shots to send the crowd into a frenzy. It was also the lowest final round in a major championship Woods has shot his entire career.

Fallout 76 is completely changing how perks work
What Else Did We Learn About 'Fallout 76?' The reward, of course, will be higher for trolls with higher in-game levels. The good news is that players don't lose anything when they die but they will have to respawn, which can carry a cost.

Romania protests: Thousands rally against government for second night
As the protest continued well into the night, riot police used a water cannon and increasingly sprayed tear gas into the crowd. Critics say Romania has lost ground in fighting corruption since the ruling Social Democratic Party assumed power in 2016.

Broad leads crushing England victory over India
Virat Kohli and co will look for early wickets on Saturday as the second England-India Test match enters its third day. Fittingly, it was Woakes who wrapped up the win for England as Ishant Sharma was caught down the leg-side.

Get Paid To Live On A Greek Island And Play With Cats
You could get paid to live on a Greek Island as a the caretaker for 55 furry bundles of joy at a cat sanctuary. For more information, you can take a look at the rescue's Facebook page .

Sevilla threaten Super Cup action against Barcelona
However, this is the first time it will played outside Spain, with the encounter billed to take place in Tangier, Morocco. In their last notice for the 18-19 season, only three were due to be permitted, without exception.

Bernardo Silva stunner seals comfortable Man City win at Arsenal
Manchester City experienced a mixed bag of a pre-season due to several of their players not being available for selection. Fernandinho , Kevin De Bruyne and a Silva - either David or Bernardo - is a familiar trio for the away side.