Grieving killer whale carries dead calf for over two weeks

Aug 12, 2018, 23:41
Grieving killer whale carries dead calf for over two weeks

Scientists are anxious that Tahlequah, or J35, is not getting adequate food because she has been carrying her baby for so long.

For now, researchers and veterinarians working to treat J50 will continue to monitor J35, looking closely at her for skin lesions, any changes in the way she swims or surfaces or major changes in her breath, which could indicate that she is metabolizing lipids.

Killer whale Tahlequah was first spotted carrying her daughter's body on her back near Vancouver Island on July 24.

"I am gravely concerned for the health and mental well being of J35".

The heartbreaking story about a grieving mother orca who has spent the past 16 days carrying the body of her dead calf has gained an enormous amount of attention.

Scarlet is among a group of endangered, rapidly dwindling Southern Resident killer whales that frequent the Pacific Northwest.

Just like humans, they're still mourning, which ultimately show how emotional and intelligent killer whales are.

The calf was believed to have died of malnutrition shortly after her birth.

"The fish would be distributed into the water in front of her", she said. Losing J50 also would mean losing her reproductive potential, Hanson said. The whale would initially get just a few fish to see whether she takes it and how she and members of her pod respond before deciding whether to give her salmon dosed with medication. But the whale did not smell as bad on Saturday. She was seen again Thursday, still holding on to the remains.

'I've never seen an animal this emaciated make it.

Several groups on Wednesday said the loss of the calf highlights the need for quick action. Her immediate family has been spotted helping her eat.

A statewide task force he formed has been meeting since May to come up with recommendations. A final report is due in November.

Since then, an adult male orca went missing in June and is presumed dead.

'The death of the orca calf is a heartbreaking reminder of the urgency we face in saving these iconic animals, ' the governor's spokesman Jaime Smith wrote in an email. Females reach sexual maturity in their teens, and their fertility starts to wane in their 30s or 40s, yet they have been known to live more than a century, spending their postreproductive years helping their daughters and granddaughters raise babies.

The fish are being delivered by truck from a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife hatchery for loading into a tote on the Lummi Nation's boat.

They have called for the removal of four dams on the Lower Snake River to restore salmon runs. "The other concern is that she might be food-limited". "It's very hard to say, but certainly they're very intelligent animals and the loss of this animal is quite profound for both the (killer whales) and I think for everyone who witnesses this".

Individual whales are also identified by unique markings or variations in their fin shapes, and each whale is given a number and name.

From the Center for Whale Research.