Grieving Orca Whale Releases Dead Calf After More Than Two Weeks

Grieving orca lets go of dead calf after carrying it over 2 weeks

Grieving orca lets go of dead calf after carrying it over 2 weeks

The grieving mother had been pushing her dead orca calf around the water for 17 days after giving birth near Victoria, British Columbia in Canada.

Her calf was born and died on July 24, and researchers say she towed it around for more than 1,500 kilometres. The mother was not ready to let go, and carried the calf along with her as she swam.

The adult female named Tahlequah, or J35 by scientists, was spotted swimming without her baby near San Juan Island off Washington's coast on Saturday, scientists said. She was no long carrying her baby.

"Killer whales and dolphins have been known to support and transport their dead calves for as long as a week - a testament to the amazingly strong mother/offspring bond and caring", said the centre.

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"Her tour of grief is now over and her behaviour is remarkably frisky". "Telephoto digital images taken from shore show that this mother whale appears to be in good physical condition", says the Centre for Whale Research.

The center said she had been seen briefly two days before without the calf, but the sighting Saturday was confirmation that her "tour of grief" was at an end. "Now we can confirm that she definitely has abandoned it".

Researchers say an endangered killer whale that drew global attention as she carried her dead calf on her head for more than two weeks is finally back to feeding and frolicking with her pod.

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