Monday, August 13, 2018

Orca whale that carried her dead calf at least 17 days lets it go, ending 'tour of grief'

An orca whale that carried her dead calf more than two weeks has let go of the body, ending her "tour of grief," researchers said.

The female killer whale was first spotted on July 24 pushing the corpse of her offspring that had died 30 minutes after birth, according to the Center for Whale Research in Washington state.

On Friday, Aug. 11, the whale, called J35 and also known as Tahlequah, was seen vigorously chasing a school of salmon with her podmates in the Haro Strait near the Canada-U.S. border. She was no longer carrying the deceased calf she had pushed for at least 17 days and 1,000 miles, the center said.

“Her tour of grief is now over and her behavior is remarkably frisky,” the center wrote on its website.

Telephoto images taken from shore show that the female whale appears to be in good physical condition, the center said.

"I'm hoping this ordeal is over," center founder Ken Balcomb told ABC News.

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