Orca Back to Feeding, Frolicking after Carrying Dead Calf

Grieving Orca Whale Releases Dead Calf After More Than Two Weeks

Approximately 75% of newborns have not survived in the two decades since the designation of the Southern Resident killer whale population as "Endangered", according to the Center for Whale Research.

Researchers said the whales, who are known for mourning their dead, had been helping the mother to carry the calf. It captured the attention of the world. The cause is no mystery: Humans have netted up the whales' salmon, driven ships through their hunting lanes and polluted their water, to the point that researchers fear Tahlequah's generation may be the last of her family.

Last week, the Times wrote, biologists and government officials began working on a plan to save the youngest living member of Talhequah's pod - a 3-year-old orca that appears to be on the brink of starvation. "What exactly she's feeling we'll never know". "Orcas. are charismatic megafauna", she said.

And still, Tahlequah carried her child.

Researchers were hoping to collect the carcass after J35 let it go to find out why it died. They must learn to swim right away, Balcomb said, and rely on their mothers for food for several years - first through nursing, then through providing fish.

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"There had been reports from brief sightings by whale-watchers two days ago that J35 (Tahlequah) was not pushing the calf carcass in Georgia Strait near Vancouver", it said.

He added that it's hard to tell the calf's cause of death without her remains to examine, but her death is consistent with orcas' reproductive failures in recent years that have been traced to a chronic deficiency in their nutrition.

While scientists had previously held fears for Tahlequah's health due to not eating, Mr Balcomb confirmed she seemed physically stable. Crews injected J50 with antibiotics on Thursday.

The whales have been struggling because of a lack of salmon, and J35's calf died soon after it was born off Vancouver Island on July 24, researchers say.

Greenpeace said the Southern Resident orca is an "important part of the culture and history of the Pacific Northwest", and called for greater protection for them.

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