Emotional killer whale mother lets go of dead calf after 17 days

An orca whale was seen grieving for the loss of her baby calf by carrying it with her day and night for 17 days.


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CANADA — An orca has finally let go of her baby calf after taking it on a "tour of grief" for 17 days.

The orca named Tahlequah — also known as J35 — gave birth to a baby calf on July 24, unfortunately the baby only lived for half an hour, The Star Vancouver reports.

The death of her baby calf seems to have triggered an emotional response in the whale, as she was seen carrying the infant whale with her during the day and night.

Tahlequah was seen dropping the dead infant to catch fish to eat, reports CBC British Columbia.

However, she was also seen diving into the water to bring the baby's body back whenever it slipped off her head.

Researchers monitoring the whale said the mother whale was even seen pushing the dead baby along or holding its tail in her teeth, calling it "unprecedented" as they estimate the whale may have pushed the dead baby for around 1,000 kilometers.

The Center for Whale Research released a statement saying the mother whale seems to be in good health.

As for the baby, they assume the carcass may have sunk to the bottom of the sea.
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